Students testing

Coppell ISD released the following letter to parents Friday regarding the STAAR and TELPAS tests this year:

You have likely heard about the Texas Education Agency’s announcement in January that in order to participate in STAAR and TELPAS assessments this Spring, a student must be present at school. That announcement was followed by the Texas Tribune’s interview with Commissioner Morath on Feb. 11. We are writing to you in the hopes of providing some clarity regarding this issue.

Among other things, the commissioner made the following points during his interview: 

  1. There are a number of federal and state laws that require all 1,202 school districts in the state to administer STAAR and TELPAS. In fact, TEA has posted a one-page listing of all of these laws on their website at: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/state-and-federal-required-tests.pdf
  2. Logistical constraints prevent the State of Texas from administering these assessments in remote or at-home settings. Therefore, in order to participate, a student must be physically present at school.
  3. TEA has made a number of adjustments to help school districts provide a safe on-campus testing environment — including the option to expand the test window to space out testing and an option to provide instruction remotely to those not testing (in order to reduce the number of students on campus during testing days).

CISD believes in a Community Accountability Based System (CBAS) to measure growth and identify opportunities for improvement. CBAS matters, because it means our community, which includes our parents and guardians, students, staff, local businesses and organizations, and taxpayers without children, hold the district accountable. Learn more at coppellisd.com/CBAS.  The district already has administered the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress Growth, or MAP Growth, assessments this school year as part of our CBAS process. 

CISD must comply with federal and state laws relating to state assessments. We are committed  to providing the safest environment possible for students and staff on our campuses. Data from tests like STAAR and TELPAS is one component of our overall comprehensive assessment process.  

We recognize that, as parents, some of you may still feel that for health or other reasons coming onsite to test is not a preferred option at this time. We respect your decision to continue to participate in remote instruction and not come to school on STAAR on TELPAS testing dates, recognizing that in making that decision, your child will not be participating  in his or her STAAR or TELPAS assessment for grades 3-12.

Please be assured that not participating in a STAAR assessment in grades 3-8 does not affect promotion or retention decisions. However, please know that not participating in End-of-Course assessments (EOCs) at the high school level does have implications for students since, under current law, students are required to perform successfully on EOCs to meet graduation requirements. Although many students may have future opportunities to take EOCs prior to graduation, we believe that it is important for students to participate in EOCs at the conclusion of the teaching of the course.

In the near future, you will receive more information from your child’s campus regarding details for participating in STAAR and TELPAS assessments for the remainder of the school year. Please reach out to campus staff if you have any questions regarding Spring testing.

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support this year.

Follow Chris Roark on Twitter!

@Reporter_Chris

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