/CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TEA-Commissioner/morath_sboe_01-27-21.jpg?ext=.jpg /CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TEA-Commissioner/morath_sboe_01-27-21.jpg?ext=.jpg
Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath

Commissioner responds to bipartisan legislators’ letter requesting STAAR opt-out

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Texas Legislature COVID-19 TEA | Commissioner | SBOE Testing | Accountability

Date Posted: 3/18/2021 | Author: Andrea Chevalier

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath responded to a bipartisan group of Texas House members last week, defending the administration of STAAR tests this spring and denying the group’s request for a STAAR opt-out mechanism. 

The commissioner's March 9 response comes one month after the group of legislators wrote to Morath asking that he allow students to opt-out of the STAAR test this year rather than being mandated to be physically present on campus to take the test. Read our coverage of the original February 8 letter from state representatives here

Morath’s response consisted of his reasons for continuing the state-mandated testing this spring, such as measuring student performance to address learning loss and provide parents with information. Morath said teachers and school districts need the information too, going so far as to say that individual classroom assessments given by teachers are unable to evaluate how students are doing relative to state standards. 

The commissioner’s response also emphasized the flexibility given by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding testing, such as providing a longer testing window and the ability for students not being tested to attend school remotely on testing days. While acknowledging that some parents will choose to keep their children in a remote learning environment for the rest of the school year, Morath failed to address that these parents may also want an opt-out mechanism.

TEA waived A-F accountability ratings for school districts and campuses for the 2020-2021 school year, and the state also waived requirements in state law to retain students who do not perform at grade level on the STAAR test. 



Deann Lee

And, yet, TEA’s own correspondence warns against using STAAR to make important decisions this year.

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