'A serious risk': Citing health, Lewisville ISD superintendent asks state to cancel December STAAR tests

Lewisville ISD's superintendent has asked the state to cancel the December STAAR exams, citing the difficulty of safely administering the tests. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lewisville ISD's superintendent has asked the state to cancel the December STAAR exams, citing the difficulty of safely administering the tests. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Lewisville ISD's superintendent has asked the state to cancel the December STAAR exams, citing the difficulty of safely administering the tests. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Lewisville ISD’s top administrator asked the state to cancel end-of-course examinations next month, arguing the district may struggle to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus while administering the tests.

Superintendent Kevin Rogers laid out this case Nov. 2 in a letter to the Texas Education Agency, arguing the STAAR tests posed “a serious risk” to the health of those on campus.

TEA guidelines require the tests to be conducted on campus and in person. According to the Lewisville district, roughly 40% of high school students were still opting for virtual learning in early November.

“All of our classrooms are in use,” Rogers wrote in the letter, “and the logistics of bringing back all of our online learners to administer the EOC tests at a time when the state is seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases jeopardizes the health of everyone on campus and every student’s family.”

The STAAR test was not administered in the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19.


Rogers proposed a series of alternatives to holding the December tests. The district’s preference would be to cancel the December exams outright, he said.

“Even with the extended testing time frame, it will be nearly impossible to administer tests while ensuring proper social distance protocols are in place,” Rogers said in the letter.

If cancelation is not an option, he asked the state to either provide additional staff to assist with test administration; extend the period of time in which the tests are taken into January; offer an online alternative to the in-person exam; or waive the requirement that high-schoolers must pass the exam before graduating.

A few days after LISD distributed Rogers’ letter to news organizations, a group of 68 state lawmakers from both parties called for the exams to be canceled in a letter of their own.

Read the superintendent's letter below.

By Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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