FORNEY, TEXAS — Texas House District 4 State Representative Keith Bell has joined dozen of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to call for Governor Abbott and the Texas Education Agency to suspend STAAR testing for the upcoming school year.
With school openings still in flux, many state law makers want to see STAAR testing and district grading systems temporarily suspended.
"In a time of crisis, it's all about timing. I don’t believe there is a single legislator that doesn’t believe that we shouldn’t put a pause on the STAAR test and the A-F accountability system in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year,” Representative Bell said today in a statement in response to inForney.com's questions about the matter.
“As a member of the House Public Education Committee, I am more concerned that schools are opened safely, fully funded, students and educators have the resources they need to feel safe whether in-person or virtual and our kids are learning." Bell said.
Approximately two dozen state legislators have reportedly signed onto letters to Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath urging them to suspend STAAR testing to some degree.
In a letter sent to Governor Greg Abbott, Texas PTA President Suzi Kennon asked for a pause in STAAR assessment and urged the state to request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education
In a statement issued on Facebook about her letter, Texas PTA President Suzi Kennon wrote, "State assessments have no place in the 2020-21 school year."
Kennon said that teachers need to focus on their students' needs, assessing gaps in knowledge and teaching to those gaps.
Many parents and critics of state standardized testing are also upset that the TEA released plans for STAAR testing for the upcoming school year, prior to releasing information about school re-openings.
"It is critical we give our children, educators, and schools time to recover instructionally and emotionally from last school year while coping with an uncertain future," Kennon said.