UPDATED: Gov. Abbott waives STAAR requirements - FOX34 Lubbock

UPDATED: Gov. Abbott waives STAAR requirements

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News release from Governor Abbott's Office:

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.  

Governor Abbott is working closely with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19. This includes tailoring instruction for students with special needs so that they have access to the same education as other students in the district. Governor Abbott will continue to work with the TEA on developing additional methods to ensure that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade-level. These discussions are ongoing and more information will be provided as it develops. 

"Your health and safety are top priorities, and the state of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculty, and their families," said Governor Abbott. "We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect their communities from COVID-19."

The move to waive testing requirements reflects the Governor’s emphasis on public health over all other priorities at this time. In normal times, Texas’ assessment system provides educators and parents with reliable information on whether or not their students have mastered grade-level content. The Governor remains committed to ensuring parents, students, and school districts have access to this information in future years.

Superintendents should continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, and their families. Their leadership is an important part of our statewide efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect public health. 

Above is a news release from Governor Abbott's office. Lubbock-Cooper ISD Superintendent Keith Bryant issued this statement Monday morning:

“This is a traditionally stressful time of year for Texas students, parents, and educators as the focus shifts to STAAR exams. Students strive to perform well, and their teachers strive to give them the best possible opportunity to succeed.
 
"This year, our school communities are also experiencing the added stress of the unknown in light of the threat of COVID-19. We are facing the possibility of school closures, an unprecedented number of student and staff absences, and the implementation of protocol designed to stop the spread of illness.
 
"Our charge as school leaders is to make the decisions that best serve our students. LCISD administrators feel the attempt to focus on standardized exams while navigating the rapidly evolving progression of COVID-19 will only exacerbate tensions, placing an undue and unhealthy burden on students and staff alike.
 
"I have an immense respect for Commissioner Morath’s handling of this unprecedented situation; he has a very difficult position and is shouldering the responsibility of decisions that greatly impact the lives of Texas children. We are grateful for Commissioner Morath’s consideration of this request, and we will respectfully uphold his decision.”
 
 
Lubbock ISD Superintendent Kathy Rollo issued this statement:
 

"Lubbock ISD educators and administrators applaud Governor Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for issuing a waiver on 2019-2020 STAAR testing for all school districts due to COVID-19.

"We share the governor’s great concern about how this outbreak will impact our
student’s academic growth. We are proactively planning for any eventuality in regards to possible school closures and are confident that our educators and service partners can provide the necessary resources for our students and families.

"This waiver allows Lubbock ISD to focus on providing these resources during this unprecedented public health crisis."

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