HOUSTON - The Texas Education Agency announced the STAAR test will continue this school year despite efforts by dozens of state lawmakers to cancel the exam due to the pandemic.
“It simply is heartless. If one walks in the shoes of the teachers in public schools, that see the pain and anguish and the frustration, and we are doing everything we can,” said Daniel Santos Navarro Middle School teacher at HISD.
He has been teaching for the past 15 years.
“Sometimes, as a veteran teacher, I feel like I am not as prepared as I was in the first year.”
Preparing his students now for the mandated STAAR Test is something he says is going to be extremely difficult for all teachers.
“When we have a digital divide, when we have a number of gaps that need to close because of the public health crisis that we are living in, it is incomprehensible to us who are in the field every day seeing the pain and anguish. We don’t understand it,” said Santos.
That’s why Andy Dewey with the Houston Federation of Teachers says the union is now preparing a request to the TEA to suspend the standardized test.
“The test was designed for normal times. These have been anything but normal times and just can’t show what a student has learned throughout the year. They may have learned a whole bunch of stuff, but it may not be all be in the curriculum. It is just best to get rid of the STAAR Test all together,” said Dewey.
The union says if the TEA doesn’t agree, they will try to get the lawmakers to stop the test this upcoming legislative session which convenes Jan 12, 2021.
The TEA issued a statement saying they are proceeding with giving the STAAR test for the school year in order to “provide critically important information about individual student learning that teachers and parents can use to help students grow.”
The TEA says the test results will not be used for accountability purposes, and it will be administered on campuses across the state or at secure testing sites.