STAAR testing regimen returns

Two Rio Grande Valley politicians have joined officials and educators across the state in calling for a cancellation of STAAR assessments for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy photo)

Students at Brownsville Independent School District early college high schools will be taking STAAR End of Course exams this week, but not to worry, the tests will only be administered on campus, not online even though that’s the way courses have been taught during the pandemic.

STAAR and EOC testing is still on the calendar for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, BISD Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said, but added that the tests should be used for diagnostic purposes only.

“My position is that they should be administered for diagnostic purposes but not for grades, to evaluate kids academically but not for accountability ratings,” Gutierrez said, adding that the tests are a good way to determine the extent of “COVID slide” among BISD students during this pandemic year.

EOC tests will be administered Tuesday for English I, Wednesday for Algebra I and U.S. History, Thursday for English II and Friday for Biology.

As is its usual practice, BISD advises parents, “please stress the importance of rest, proper diet, and a positive attitude so that your children do their very best. It is also important that students arrive on time.”

The advertisement for the test also warns, “no cell phones or electronic devices are allowed on BISD campuses during testing. As per the Texas Education Code, ‘any irregularities in test security or confidential integrity may result in the invalidation of student results.’”