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State representatives rally to 'cancel' STAAR's affect on schools' accountability ratings this year

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 17:55:09-05

A collection of 67 state representatives — including Corpus Christi's Abel Hererro — signed off on a letter to the Texas Education Agency in hopes to effectively “cancel” the impact the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam’s results would have on Texas schools.

In July, Governor Abbot announced that he would be waiving grade-promotion requirements tied to STAAR testing, which District 123 State Representative Diego Bernal acknowledged and applauded in the letter.

“Given the agency’s understanding of the anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on public education in this State, we appreciate the agency’s foresight by waiving the Student Success Initiative promotion requirements for the 2020-2021 school year,” Bernal said. “However, we believe that the agency should also recognize that the effects of this ongoing pandemic extend beyond concerns regarding promotion and retention of students and will also impact an accountability system that heavily weighs campus and district performance on student achievement and growth.”

Bernal, and others, are pushing that the STAAR exam instead be seen as a diagnostic test that doesn’t impact school’s accountability ratings.

Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers president Nancy Vera said in a statement that they agree with legislators and that they had been advocating for this since the school year began.

One parent, however, said she would be curious to still see the results herself to get a better idea of how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected her child academically.

“I just feel it’s important for every parent to know if this online is working and (see if) it’s actually benefiting the students,” said Mirna Herrera. “I think by rating the school, it’s going to show that if it’s actually a good thing for the student or not.”