Officials, parents react to TEA guidelines, STAAR testing requirement for upcoming school year

HOUSTON – Many local school districts are shifting their back-to-school plans after the Texas Education Agency released its guidelines late Tuesday. Parents raised many concerns, including STAAR testing being put back on the calendar for the upcoming school year.

Katy Independent School District officials are working on a safety plan that will give parents the option of both online or in-person instruction. The plan is set to be announced next week.

The district released the findings from a survey from parents filled out last month. The study found 49% of parents there feel comfortable returning their kids to the classroom, while 43% want to stick to online instruction.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD will also have face-to-face and online instruction. The district plans to finalize its plans within the next few weeks.

Alief ISD will begin the school year with online learning and then transition to in-person teaching. The district is asking the TEA for extra time to get children and teachers back to school.

STAAR testing to resume

While school officials attempt to get students and teachers back safely, parents are not happy with the STAAR testings back on the schedule. They said the focus needs to be on returning back to school safe first.

“What’s the rush? I understand why it needs to be done, but these are strange times. Let’s let this pass, and then when it passes we can go back and do the test,” said parent Tuvie Uloho.

“With the current situation, we already know that children have lost so much of academic time. It’s just not fair and I think it’s just added stress for them, teachers and parents,” said parent and teacher Husna Ahmed.

Even Alief ISD Superintendent HD Chambers says the STAAR Test is last on his mind.

“Right now, I don’t think it’s appropriate to throw that into the mix while we’re just trying to figure out how to keep people safe,” said Chambers.

KPRC 2 reached out to the TEA Commissioner to see if districts would be given any more time or if state officials will consider moving STAAR testing. The TEA has not yet responded to requests.