After cancelling the STAAR test outright at the end of the 2019-20 school year in the midst of a sudden shift to virtual schooling due to the coronavirus pandemic, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has now made changes to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test protocol for the second straight school year.

In a statement Monday (July 27th), Gov. Abbott announced that passing the STAAR test would not be a requirement to move on to the next grade for 5th and 8th graders. The traditional A through F grades will remain in place. The STAAR test will still be taken in May of 2021, but students won't need to retake it in order to pass their current grade.

Here is the full statement from the Governor's office:

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the grade promotion requirement related to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test for students in grades 5 and 8 has been waived for the upcoming school year. Typically, school systems must take into account a student’s score on the STAAR test to determine whether the student can be promoted to the next grade level. The traditional A-F rating system will remain in place, albeit with certain adjustments due to COVID-19.

 

Typically, students enrolled in grades 5 and 8 are required to re-take a STAAR test late in the school year, and sometimes again in the summer, if they do not meet grade level when taken during the spring. With this waiver, there will only be one administration of the STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020–21 school year. The test will be administered in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR grades 3-8 assessments.

Abbott said they made the move to allow greater flexibility for both the student and the teacher.

"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," Gov. Abbott said. "By waiving these promotion requirements, we are providing greater flexibility for students and teachers, while at the same time ensuring that Texas students continue to receive a great education — which we will continue to measure with high-quality assessments."