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Relating to the administration of public school assessment
instruments and the temporary suspension of certain accountability
determinations for public schools in a school year in which public
school operations are disrupted as a result of a declared disaster
and the requirement to use those assessment instruments as a
criterion for promotion or graduation of a public school student.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2802 would require the commissioner of education to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver from certain testing requirements in the event that a declared disaster significantly disrupts school district operations including in-person attendance, in a majority of school districts in Texas. In the event a federal waiver is not granted, the testing would still take place but the commissioner would be prohibited from using the results to evaluate the performance of a campus or school district, or determine a student's qualification for promotion or graduation.
Our original vote recommendation for HB 2802 was oppose based on our concern that it could facilitate the advancement of students who are not academically ready to advance. Upon further consideration and in consultation with the bill author’s office, we have withdrawn our objection and remain neutral. We are still deeply concerned about the possibility of students being advanced before they are ready due to COVID-related loss of learning, however we also take the point that STAAR testing in the immediate wake of COVID may be a poor indicator of academic readiness for advancement.