Landgraf asks TEA to eliminate STAAR in 2021

Local News

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – State Representative Brooks Landgraf is calling on state leaders to eliminate state standardized testing for the coming school year.

Landgraf sent a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath calling on him to eliminate the STAAR exam for students in the 2021 school year.

“Now, more than ever, we need to allow our teachers the flexibility to teach their students the way they feel is best. And we need our students to be inspired and motivated to learn, not overcome with anxiety about a punitive test being administered in the most unprecedented health crisis, in modern history,” Landgraf wrote in his letter.

The Representative says teachers and students have enough challenges to face without STAAR adding another obstacle. Ector County, specifically, has seen a rapid growth in case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths within the past month.

Landgraf has long opposed the state standardized test and even filed legislation during the last session to do away with the STAAR exam altogether. The legislation ultimately did not pass.

But Landgraf says with his letter to the TEA, he hopes other Texas Legislatures will follow through in in asking for a cancellation of the STAAR test.

“I’m also encouraging other state representatives and other legislatures across the state to issue or to submit a similar letter if their constituents feel the same way.” Landgraf said. “Hopefully there can be a grounds well of support from across Texas.”

Landgraf said even if there was no standardized testing in Texas, there are other way to hold students accountable for their education.

“Other than put all the added pressure of a high stakes standardized test, why don’t we just scrap that for this year. Landgraf said. “We can focus on how to meet these students where they are and get them the best education that we can under very difficult circumstances.”

And by getting rid of the STAAR test this upcoming school year, Landgraf said it can allow the state to focus on what matters the most.

“It allows us to focus on what’s most important and that is to get answers about how safely and
effectively educate students across Texas,” Landgraf said.

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