Governor, Don't rate our schools this year

Schools are feeding students and families, offering distance learning, providing emotional and social support, and looking out for our communities. They should not have to be worried about STAAR and school accountability too.

STAAR is cancelled for the rest of the year. However, school ratings and accountability are less certain.

During this crisis, schools must be able to focus on local school and community needs. We have to take care of each other.

Schools are feeding students and families, offering distance learning, providing emotional and social support, and looking out for our communities. They should not have to be worried about STAAR and school accountability too.

The Texas Education Agency must leave schools UNRATED this year, like FloridaNew York and other states have wisely done. 

Instead, the TEA plans to extend last year’s ratings to the 2019-20 school year. Schools with D’s or F’s in 2018-19 would have a “failing grade” two years in a row—even though no one took the STAAR this year. Duplicating 2018-19 grades allows the TEA to continue taking over school districts and closing/chartering schools.

The only fair and reasonable decision is NOT RATED. Grades from last year are not reflective of the work done this year in schools across Texas. Additionally, the state should follow the precedents from Hurricanes Ike and Harvey. In those crises, affected schools were not rated.

Coronavirus affects all of us. The COVID-19 school closures are as devastating to learning as Ike and Harvey were. They must result in the same waiver. Anything else is a crass disregard for families and children, especially for families in poverty.

When teachers don’t have enough grades for students, they don’t simply duplicate last year’s grades - because they have no bearing on the present. 

The TEA must make the right choice and leave schools NOT RATED for 2019-20. Email the Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath at commissioner@tea.texas.gov or your local school board to express your opinion.


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