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Gov. Abbott waives STAAR score requirements to move to next grade level for 2020-21 school year

The waiver is for students in 5th through 8th grade.

For the upcoming school year, the state will waive the requirements for students to make a certain score on the STAAR test move on to the next grade level, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday.

A students’ score on the STAAR is typically used to advance into the next grade. For the upcoming year, students will still be required to take the STAAR test if they are in grades 5 and 8, but there will be no requirements for advancing to the next grade level.

The test will be administered in May to coincide with the other STAAR tests, which take place from grades 3 to 8.

The tests will still be in use to assess that students are receiving "a great education," Abbott said.

"As always, our goal is to provide a high-quality education for every Texas student," Abbott said in a statement. "This will be a uniquely challenging school year, therefore, this year is about providing students every opportunity to overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19."

Many districts are planning to begin the school year online-only after an increase in COVID-19 cases. Some teachers are concerned that districts aren't ready for in-person lessons and teachers have spoken out against the STAAR exam requirements for the upcoming school year.

"Educators use this valuable information to make adjustments to support students the following year," said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath in a statement. "But there is no benefit to our children by requiring them to repeat a year based on a single test score given the disruptions of COVID, so we are waiving the grade promotion requirements from STAAR this year for our students."

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the assessments will still provide data that the state needs, including for the A-F rating model for public schools.

"We face some unprecedented challenges in the upcoming year, but we must continue to keep our schools accountable and on track," Patrick said in a statement, in part.

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