Texas Education Agency Pauses A-F Ratings For 2020-21 School Year
STAAR testing will proceed so parents and educators continue to understand what students have learned this year, and to gauge the impact of the pandemic on education
AUSTIN, Texas – December 10, 2020 – The Texas Education Agency announced today that A-F ratings would be paused for 2020-21 school year due to the ongoing disruptions associated with COVID-19. The STAAR test will proceed for the 2020-21 school year in order to provide critically important information about individual student learning that teachers and parents can use to help students grow. For those schools that incorporate STAAR results into teacher evaluations, TEA is providing flexibility to allow them to remove that component this school year.
Ensuring that STAAR is made available has been recognized as vital by education leaders around the state. STAAR results will allow schools, teachers, and parents to see how individual students are performing while also giving education leaders and policymakers across Texas a comprehensive picture of what are likely to be sweeping impacts of the pandemic on student learning, helping policymakers craft solutions for the years ahead. However, the STAAR will not be used for accountability purposes this school year.
“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. 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,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.
“The issuance of A-F ratings for schools has proven to be a valuable tool to support continuous improvement for our students, allowing educators, parents, and the general public to better identify and expand efforts that are working for kids. But the pandemic has disrupted school operations in fundamental ways that have often been outside the control of our school leaders, making it far more difficult to use these ratings as a tool to support student academic growth. As a result, we will not issue A-F ratings this school year,” added Morath.
School systems are required to make STAAR available to every eligible student. The test will be administered on school campuses across the state or at other secure alternative testing sites. The test is an assessment of the grade level expectations of Texas students, with questions designed by subject matter experts and committees of Texas teachers to measure how well students have mastered knowledge and skills in various grades and subjects. STAAR will continue to be administered only in secure environments to ensure the results remain valid and reliable.