STAAR test

Key Superintendents Support Taking STAAR Tests, But Don't Want Grades Counted

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More than 30 superintendents and education leaders signed a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath asking to go forward with State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests saying they're needed to measure student success.

Crowley Independent School District Superintendent Michael McFarland says, like Dallas and other districts, his students have fallen behind, but without a standardized test he's not certain if they're doing better or worse than other districts.

"I think it's important to issue a statewide assessment so we can have comparative data and we need to diagnose we need diagnostic data," said McFarland.

Ten North Texas districts agree, asking for the test this spring but with a big catch, they don't want the STAAR test to count against the schools or the students.

"We'll figure later where the accountability comes we'll figure out accountability but accountability is not appropriate right now," said Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who also signed the letter.

Several North Texas school districts say they will not switch to virtual learning the week after Thanksgiving despite a spike in COVID-19 cases. NBC 5 education reporter Wayne Carter reports on their decision, even though the state gave them permission to go back to online learning.

Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner also signed the letter. "Using data to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of educators is misguided," he said. "The spring assessment would establish a new baseline to recover lost time."

The move by the superintendents comes after lawmakers submitted their own letter earlier this week suggesting Morath cancel the test or at a minimum not count it.   

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Commissioner Morath is listening to both groups and expected to make a final decision soon. 

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