BREAKING: Governor Abbott suspends STAAR exam for 2019-2020

By Gaige Davila

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has cancelled the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam for the 2019-2020 school year.

Abbott waived the state testing requirement in response to growing concern of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As of March 16, there are 68 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.

“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,” Abbott said in a March 16 media release.

For Port Isabel Independent School District (PI-ISD) students, STAAR exams were scheduled April 7 and 8, May 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14, with alternate testing dates in June.

“It has become apparent that schools will be unable to administer STAAR as they would normally,” Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath said in March 16 statement.

Governor Abbott’s office says the governor and the TEA are working “to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19.”

The PRESS has contacted PI-ISD superintendent Theresa Alarcon for comment.

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    • BETH RODRIGUEZ on March 16, 2020 at 9:05 am
    • Reply

    This is unacceptable. Accountability of our teachers and students has now been suspended. Teachers were preparing for STAAR so it is a perfect opportunity to see exactly what our students know with out prep. Accountability has now been suspended. Further, struggling students who likely would not pass the STAAR will be probably be advanced to next grade to increase their struggles. Abbott, this is wrong.
    I have lost confidence in you.

    • Steven Galwyn on March 16, 2020 at 9:39 pm
    • Reply

    Beth Rodriguez, governor Abbott is doing what he thinks is right, and he’s only trying to help the state of Texas. This is not wrong, and this is not unacceptable. For a short time, I was in shock, and as a teacher, I do see your point and I see why you are so upset about his decision.

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