The resolution was submitted by trustee Scott Moore and reviewed at the board's July 21 meeting. Moore said the testing and ratings for the 2019-20 school year were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many other districts across the state are asking for another suspension.
Superintendent Curtis Null said the district supports the resolution because of how much time testing takes up. He said that although schools will provide remote instruction for all students for the first four weeks of the year, they do not want to waste any time on testing when students return to campus.
“When we do return to campus full-speed Sept. 8, ... every school moment is going to be precious,” Null said. “So [if we don't] shut down a school for weeks just to test, ... we can continue to teach children. I think we’ll have a much better long-lasting educational impact on those children than having one more test this year.”
Null and trustee Dale Inman said the district is not afraid of testing or ratings, having received positive scores for several years.
Board Vice President Skeeter Hubert said both the delay of in-person instruction and pushing for suspending standardized testing is hard for residents and for the trustees.
“This COVID[-19] is extremely frustrating. It is extremely frustrating for everybody,” Hubert said. “When you have 8,000 people involved in teaching 65,000 students—if we say ‘All means all,’ we have to include the health of everybody.”
The board also approved a name for its new elementary school in the Caney Creek Feeder Zone. The school will be named after Ruben Hope Jr., a former state representative for District 16, a local attorney and CISD board trustee. Many of the current trustees spoke about Hope’s positive influence and financial support for the community and for the district.