Texas 5th and 8th graders won't have to pass STAAR test to move on to the next grade

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- The grade promotion requirement related to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test for 5th and 8th grade students has been waived for the upcoming school year, announced Gov. Greg Abbott.

Typically, school systems must take a student's score on the STAAR test into account to determine whether the student can go to the next grade.

According to a statement released by Gov. Abbott's office on Monday, the traditional A-F rating system will remain in place but will have certain adjustments due to COVID-19.

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"As always, our goal is to provide a high quality education for every Texas student," said the governor. "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. 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."

Students enrolled in 5th grade and 8th grade are required to re-take a STAAR test late in the school year, and sometimes again in the summer if they don't meet grade level when taken during the spring.

With the new waiver, there will only be one administration of the STAAR test in grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020-21 school year.

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The test will be administered in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR grades 3-8 assessments.

"Parents deserve to know how well their children have learned grade level knowledge and skills in reading and math, especially in a time when education has been substantially disrupted," said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. "And educators use this valuable information to make adjustments to support students the following year. 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."

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