In Texas, we’ve reached more than 2 million cases of COVID-19, and more than 36,000 Texans have died. The Texas economy is struggling. Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath should be pulling out all the stops to expand rapid COVID-19 testing and get vaccines to front-line workers like educators.
Are they? No.
Their priorities lay elsewhere — with the STAAR test. This week, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath was asked whether he would cancel STAAR if Texas were to receive a federal testing waiver.
He said, “No.”
While Texas educators risk their lives to teach in person by state mandate, TEA is handing out contracts totaling $388 million to develop and administer STAAR for the next four years. If Texas chose to drop the STAAR test 10 months ago as the pandemic first took hold, it would be inconsistent not to waive high-stakes standardized testing once more, with the situation far worse. If the well-being of our students, educators, and schools is truly a priority, that is the least we can do.