Students to be required to take STAAR test in 2020-21 school year

While there are many unknowns regarding public education operations next year, one thing is for certain: Students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
While there are many unknowns regarding public education operations next year, one thing is for certain: Students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

While there are many unknowns regarding public education operations next year, one thing is for certain: Students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

While there are many unknowns regarding public education operations next year, one thing is for certain: Students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath gave a presentation to the State Board of Education on June 30 in which he told board members that students will be required to once again take the STAAR test in the 2020-21 school year. Students were exempt from taking the test in the 2019-20 year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Morath said the STAAR test will be happening next year regardless of whether students are doing in-person learning, asynchronous learning—or self-paced remote learning—or synchronous learning, which requires all students to be present at the same time virtually. He said there may be adjustments to the STAAR test, including longer testing windows of 30 days and an altered way of calculating A-F ratings, as the ratings were not collected this year.

"We have all these things in place for a reason," he said. "There's very solid evidence [standardized tests] help children, especially students from low-income backgrounds. So we don't want to throw that up and just give up on the objectives to have students master the knowledge and skills they need to master this year."

Morath said standardized testing is more important than ever to distinguish academic progress, as school closures from the coronavirus pandemic have led to what education officials are calling the "COVID slide." The slide describes the manner in which students did not progress in some courses at the same pace as normal. Morath said students were making progress at a normal rate in math prior to the pandemic.


"On or about the time of COVID closures in the state of Texas and country wide, was you saw an immediate split in how students were making academic progress," he said. "Students from low-income ZIP codes were at a precipitous decline in academic progress that was immediate. They were making 50% less progress in mathematics than they normally do on a week-to-week basis."

Morath also said middle-income students experienced a more than 30% decline while high-income students did not experience a decline working remotely. He said without the STAAR testing data from the 2019-20 year, the agency does not have as much information as needed to adjust educational support systems for students.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.



MOST RECENT

Houston City Council passed a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s tax rate of $0.56792 per $100 valuation. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston approves lower tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21 amid calls for further reductions

The rate may still result in an increase for some taxpayers with the average homestead property value rising about 4%.

The Harris County Flood Control District hosted a virtual public meeting on Oct. 20 to outline the findings from its $700,000 Kingwood Drainage Analysis. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Study: Kingwood Diversion Ditch, Taylor Gully projects could remove 449 structures from flow paths of 100-year storm

All nine projects would cost roughly $148.35 million for construction, detention and land acquisition.

Target has built out its new store at 2075 Westheimer Road, Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Target to open fourth Inner Loop location and more Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Baylor College of Medicine is seeking volunteers for a COVID-19 study looking to determine the prevalence of the viral disease in the Houston area. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine recruiting participants for COVID-19 prevalence study

The study will collect samples from 70,000 individuals nationwide.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Houston hydrologist explains climate change’s role in intensified flooding, importance of planning for future storms

“We’re looking at more intense and more frequent storms, and so, as a region, we’re going to need to think about that when we’re planning. We need to plan for that worst-case climate change [scenario].”

Some Harris County residents could be eligible for free workforce training. (Courtesy Lone Star College System)
Harris County partners with Lone Star College to offer free workforce training this fall

Furloughed, unemployed and underemployed Harris County residents could be eligible for one of 17 training programs.

University of St. Thomas President Richard Ludwick cuts the ribbon for the new microcampus Oct. 20. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas celebrates grand opening of microcampus in Conroe

The center is named after St. Maximilian Kolbe, who is often referred to as the patron saint of innovation.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Greater Houston region faces glut of industrial, commercial space and multifamily housing

While the Greater Houston area has seen a glut of office space for the last six years, Patrick Jankowski said the industrial buildup has happened more in the past year and a half.

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project proposes rerouting I-45 through the East End and Fifth Ward and expanding it through the Northside. (Nathan Colbert/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston-Galveston Area Council seeking feedback on I-45 project plans

Regional leaders are accepting feedback on which projects to fund alongside the I-45 overhaul.

New Caney ISD welcomed 600 students who were previously learning remotely to campus after fall break. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
About 600 New Caney ISD students switch to on-campus instruction at end of 9 weeks

As New Caney ISD returns to school after fall break, about 600 students have switched from remote learning to on campus, according to Executive Director of Instruction Kristi Shofner.

Mickey Deison speaks at a city event. (Courtesy Larry Foerster)
Community remembers legacy of Mickey Deison, former Conroe mayor and Montgomery County judge

“He did what was needed to be done, not for any self-glory,” Larry Foerster said.

Montgomery County's COVID-19 recoveries sit at 8,403, according to the county health department. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
See Montgomery County's weekly COVID-19 case count for Oct. 13-19

The county has made progress on its backlog of cases initially reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services by health care providers.