The spring portion of the 2020 school year went online amid the pandemic, and classes became digital. Some worry that this created a learning gap, especially for students who may not have had access to technology at home.
Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) wants the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness
STAAR test canceled for this coming school year.
“I strongly urge Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Legislature to suspend the STAAR testing accountability ratings for the 2020-21 school year,” he tweeted Tuesday. The tweet included a two-page letter.
I strongly urge Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Legislature to suspend the STAAR testing accountability ratings for the 2020-21 school year. Full resolution: pic.twitter.com/ECuo2cAgeR— Dan from Van (@Dan_Flynn) June 10, 2020
“Sixty percent of Texas public school students are identified as economically disadvantaged (some of the most vulnerable who struggle to pass the STAAR) and may not have reliable access to online infrastructure (Wi-Fi or hot spots) to successfully navigate an online learning environment,” Flynn’s letter states.
The letter also says that students who have lost valuable classroom time and may not be able to attend summer school means that the 2021 data will be unreliable and unfair. The letter states that academic growth will not be possible to calculate accurately for the spring 2021 school year as there will not be previous STAAR scores from spring 2020.
Flynn requests that the Texas Legislature further examine Texas’ public school accountability system. He suggests developing a new system that doesn’t require extensive high-stakes standardized testing.
The Texas State Teachers Association supports Flynn’s idea.
“The Texas State Teachers Association supports Flynn’s proposal to postpone STAAR testing for another year to give teachers more time to address the learning gap that some students will have suffered because of the school closures this spring,” Clay Robison, a spokesman for Texas State Teachers Association, said in a statement Thursday. “Even under normal circumstances, STAAR testing and preparation waste time and money that should be spent on real teaching and learning, not prepping for a standardized test that does nothing except measure a student’s ability to pass a test.”
Robison also said canceling the test is critical during the next school year because of the budget issues that school districts will be facing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“STAAR testing costs millions of dollars a year that should be spent on real educational lessons and activities, not testing,” he said.