The Texas Education Agency released spring STAAR test results for grades 3-8 this week that showed, for the first time since 2012, the number of students meeting grade-level proficiency in math and science started to decline, with the math portion of the assessment accounting for the biggest drop in test scores.
Obviously, these scores were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to TEA, students who received mostly virtual instruction had a more significant decline in standardized test scores in math and reading compared to those who received mostly in-person instruction.
Texas AFT argued strenuously for the cancellation of the test this year, as did many lawmakers during the 87th Legislature, arguing that STAAR put undue strain on overburdened students and teachers — all for results anyone could have predicted. Our union also successfully fought for the direct release of federal COVID-19 relief aid, which many school districts now are using to stem “learning loss” through increased summer school programs, tutoring, and investing in retaining and rewarding teachers.