In Person STAAR Testing Still Required Despite Pandemic
A new report from the Texas Education Agency says that STAAR testing scheduled to take place in the spring will be in-person only.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many parents have opted to keep their children home and participate in online learning to reduce the risk of them catching the virus.
However, guidelines released by the TEA will require that students complete the upcoming STAAR exams in a monitored testing area supervised by a trained test administrator. The silver lining is that districts can set up alternative testing sites other than their home campuses, which is good news for parents concerned about students being bunched too closely together during the test.
According to a report from the Texas Tribune, Texas will not be rating school districts based on their results as they have done in the past.
(If the scores don't matter and students will be allowed to advance to the next grade regardless of their performance on the test, then I have to wonder why the schools would risk the health of the students to take the tests.)
Since they are insisting on continuing with these standardized tests, then I would say setting up some sort of online system would be the safest format to take the tests.
Well, they're reportedly working on that.
According to a study from Texas A&M, online standardized testing probably will not be a reality for Texas until 2022. Some of the states that have made the transition already were faced with technical issues, but overall have found success in the new format and are offering guidance to other states like Texas.
Hopefully the pandemic will start to ease off and we can return to somewhat normal schooling before then, but otherwise online testing would prove to be a safe substitute as opposed to the traditional method.
As a student in college during this time, I have found that it is much more difficult to learn and retain information for school during this time and can sympathize with these students. They are probably struggling as well, and taking a long test like the STAAR exam after not being properly prepared over this school year will be a difficult task. I imagine scores will be lower than ever before.