Gov. Greg Abbott waives grade promotion requirement for STAAR testing for middle school students

Gov. Greg Abbott has waived the grade promotion requirement for STAAR testing for the 2020-21 school year for students in grades 5-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Greg Abbott has waived the grade promotion requirement for STAAR testing for the 2020-21 school year for students in grades 5-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Gov. Greg Abbott has waived the grade promotion requirement for STAAR testing for the 2020-21 school year for students in grades 5-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

On July 27, Gov. Greg Abbott waived some aspects of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test for students from fifth to eighth grade.

According to a press release, student performance on the STAAR test typically determines whether that student will graduate to the next grade level. While students will still receive a rating, the test will not be used to hold students back from going into middle or high school.

Abbott said in the press release that this waiver is meant to provide more flexibility to schools to “overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19.”

Several other state officials voiced their agreement.

"Parents deserve to know how well their children have learned grade level knowledge and skills in reading and math, especially in a time when education has been substantially disrupted," Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said. "And educators use this valuable information to make adjustments to support students the following year. But there is no benefit to our children by requiring them to repeat a year based on a single test score given the disruptions of COVID, so we are waiving the grade promotion requirements from STAAR this year for our students."


Some school districts have asked the state to waive the STAAR test in its entirety; that measure has yet to be taken.

Note: The article was updated to clarify that students do not receive A-F scores on the STAAR.
By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


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