The Texas State Teachers Association urged Gov. Greg Abbott and Education Commissioner Mike Morath to seek a waiver from federal testing requirements and cancel STAAR testing this spring as schools plan closures and take other emergency steps to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

“We don’t know how critical this health emergency will become in Texas, how many families will be affected and how long some schools may have to keep their doors closed to protect their students, employees and local communities. Educators, students and their families should be focused on dealing with these critical health issues and shouldn’t have to try to cope with the additional stress of STAAR testing,” TSTA President Noel Candelaria said.

“We urge Gov. Abbott and Commissioner Mike Morath to seek a waiver from federal testing requirements and cancel STAAR testing this spring. Let us declare a time out on testing or, at the very least, waive the high-stakes requirements associated with testing, including grade promotions, graduation requirements and the impact on school accountability ratings,” Candelaria added.

“Even under normal circumstances, STAAR exams and test preparation waste millions of tax dollars and rob students and teachers of valuable classroom time for real teaching and learning. It is inexcusable to require them to shoulder the STAAR burden during a health emergency.”