EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — The pandemic continues to challenge local teachers and students. That’s why teachers’ unions and one state board of education member want the state to cancel this year’s STAAR test.  

“We won’t get any useful information out of these tests that have such high stakes,” Texas State Board of Education District 2 Member Ruben Cortez said.  

Cortez wrote a letter to Governor Abbott, requesting the cancellation of STAAR test for this school year. 

Due to the pandemic, he — as well as other education agencies — say this year’s results could not accurately be compared to previous benchmarks and would add undue stress to teachers and students.  

“Teachers need to be focusing on direct classroom instruction, on being able to be with their students from an instructional standpoint, a social emotional standpoint and really focusing on those issues, as opposed to a statewide testing framework of any kind,” Association of Texas Professional Educators Senior Lobbyist Monty Exter said.  

The STAAR test was cancelled  this past spring semester, and while Governor Abbott recently waved the grade promotion requirement for 5th and 8th graders, standardized tests are scheduled to resume in December.  

“In my opinion it’s bad enough they’re insisting we go to face to face instruction,” Cortez said. “ At this point, the least they can do is make these announcements before the holidays to give people at least that peace of mind.”  

Exter adds while the STAAR is not a good diagnostic tool for this year, teachers do have other ways of assessing their student’s growth in a more beneficial manner.  

Next week, Cortez is scheduled to meet with the board of education for a roundtable discussion, and plans to bring up these concerns to the education commissioner.