STAAR testing to be held in person

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Prachurjya Shreya

Testing room locations are displayed in the foyer indicating what rooms students are to report to for their exam.

Shreyas Viswanathan, Staff Reporter

STAAR testing begins on campus Tuesday with freshman students taking the English I exam, while sophomores, juniors, and seniors stay at home for a day of asynchronous learning. It continues Thursday with sophomores taking the English II exam, while freshmen, juniors, and seniors stay at home for asynchronous learning. 

The decision by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires all school districts to administer the exams after they were cancelled in 2020.

“If a student does not come to campus on an assessment day, he/she will not receive scores, which are key pieces of data to support student learning and address any gaps,” FISD spokeswoman Meghan Cone said via email. “There are likely negative academic consequences for those students unable to attend a safe proctored testing location given that neither the parent nor teachers working with the student will have access to state assessment results that provide an assessment of grade-level knowledge and skills or English language proficiency.”

For virtual students such as sophomore Ishayy Gupta, coming to campus will represent something of a new experience this year.  

“I feel like the TEA’s decision to make STAAR testing in-person was expected by many people because the same thing was going to happen for AP exams as well,” Gupta said via text. “Coming to school for the STAAR will be a different experience for me, as I will have to take a long test while wearing a mask even though I’m not used to it, but I believe that the school will be taking proper safety precautions. If they adjusted the STAAR to make it online, it could be better or worse since typing essays online is much easier than writing them out.”

Junior Nabeel Saleem believes that the idea of having STAAR testing in person is a bad one, but doesn’t feel like it’ll make too much of a difference for him.

“It’s a bad idea because COVID is still a huge problem, so to call in thousands of students in Texas of almost all grades to come in person and take a standardized test isn’t a good idea,” Saleem said. “I’ve been to school before to take both the PSAT and SAT from which I sort of know what to expect, so I’ll just be taking the test I’ve for US History and leave the building right away as always. CollegeBoard conducted AP exams online last year, and there wasn’t a big problem with regards to cheating, so I think if TEA finds it important to mandate standardized testing this year, then they should conduct it online for safety.”