by Matt Briscoe

The coronavirus outbreak has caused many schools statewide to cancel classes, and the Texas Education Agency is reportedly said to be considering a move that would eliminate STARR Testing for the 2019-2020 school year.

The thought process is similar to that which is used for situations such as hurricanes and other natural disasters which can cause students to have a moderated school calendar. In essence, the move would simply eliminate testing testing this school year, which would then remove the time spent reviewing for the STARR test and instead allow districts to use that time for instruction.

A handful of State Representatives have sent letters to TEA urging that such a move be granted. Current House Speaker Dennis Bonnen sent out a series of Tweet yesterday saying that he in fact has been in communications with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath and that TEA has apparently advised him that a plan will be released this coming week. A spokesperson for TEA expected that an announcement could come Wednesday or Thursday.

Letter to TEA from State Rep. JD Sheffield (R-Gatesville)

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath has been in daily contact with District Superintendents working on the matters at hand.

Since the state the state legislature is not in session, lawmakers cannot introduce bills or take action on the matter specifically in question. The TEA and Governor Abbott both have the rule making authority on the issue and it is expected that TEA will handle this matter accordingly.

If approved, this move would allow students to make up for missed time without extending the school year.