With students out and some schools closing due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
Students must take the STAAR test every April. The tests measure what students have learned and whether or not they are ready for the next grade.
Abbott's waiver is in response to a group of lawmakers that called for the state to cancel the test since school districts are seeing decreased classroom instruction, according to KLTV.
Governor Abbott is also requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) follow suit and waive federal testing requirements for the year.
According to a release, Governor Abbott is working with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19, including tailoring instruction for students with special needs.
"Your health and safety are top priorities, and the state of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculty, and their families," Governor Abbott says in a statement. "We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect their communities from COVID-19."
According to WFAA, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told school superintendents and lawmakers they should be prepared for long-term school district closures, possibly through the end of the school year, especially in areas where the coronavirus has spread.