TEA Keeps STAAR Testing but Ditches School Ratings

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Kids still have to take the STAAR test this year.
Students will take standardized tests this year despite the pandemic, but results won't count against schools' accountability ratings, the Texas Education Agency announced Thursday afternoon.

The news comes as Dallas ISD students struggle with "devastating" learning loss.

“The last nine months have been some of the most disruptive of our lives. The challenges have been especially pronounced for our parents, teachers and students,” TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said in a news release. “We continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, teachers and staff in our schools this year, while working to ensure students grow academically.”

Normally, results from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness Test affect the A-F rating assigned to the state's campuses and school districts. For the 2020-21 school year, though, STAAR grades will just be used to help teachers and parents discern students’ academic performance and allow policymakers to better plan for the future, according to the news release.

In November, 68 state legislators asked the TEA to cancel STAAR during the pandemic. In addition to campus ratings, standardized test results inform Dallas teachers’ personnel evaluations, Alliance/AFT Union President Rena Honea said in an interview last month.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Dallas ISD earned a B accountability rating, according to the state government website Texas School Report Cards.