Education commissioner says remote learners can skip the STAAR test if their parents are concerned about testing at campuses

Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith (left) and Education Commissioner Mike Morath

Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Thursday that if parents of remote learners are concerned about the safety of sending kids to school to take the STAAR test, they can simply have them stay home. However, Morath said, “It’s not opting out of the STAAR test… .It’s opting for remote instruction….so their kid won’t sit for the STAAR exam.” (There are no plans for remote testing.)

Morath already waived the requirements to pass STAAR for grade promotion and the use of results for district and campus accountability ratings. He didn’t go into further detail on the impacts of students who choose to stay home and sit out of STAAR End of Course exams—which are still required, although there are other paths to graduation.

Texas AFT President Zeph Capo said, “Our message to Morath is that our kids and educators have been through enough hardship in the past year and don’t need the useless burden of weeks of test-prep and testing for scores that won’t be valid. Our message to all parents is that they should be in control of this decision and not under any intimidation from their school district for not sending their child to take the STAAR test.”

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