‘Frustrating’ decision by feds leaves Texans facing the ‘drudgery’ of STAAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2021

CONTACT: Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343, rdamico@texas-aft.org

Texas AFT President Zeph Capo commented today on the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on administering required assessments this year (the STAAR test for Texas).

The decision is frustrating. We’re being told to march to the beat of a drum no matter what, even if it’s a time-consuming, expensive, and worthless drudgery that will have no value for students, parents, and teachers.

The federal determination is trying to address the testing situation for the entire country. Sure, it provides significant flexibility in administering tests and takes away the high-stakes elements for accountability. But the decision misses the mark on understanding that tests like STAAR are faulty for serving as assessments that will help guide instruction for our kids moving forward through the pandemic.

Waiving the STAAR tests and substituting locally-developed and authentic assessments would provide a true baseline for educators and parents heading into the next school year. The federal determination is a missed opportunity, particularly for Texans who are emerging from a catastrophic storm that in many instances left teachers and students in the cold without electricity and water, and now in many cases, with damaged schools.