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Rep.Toth, Steve

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Rep. Toth Calls for End to STAAR in Letter to TEA Commissioner 
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by: Rep. Toth, Steve

The Woodlands, TX — Thursday afternoon, Representative Steve Toth (The Woodlands) called to cancel the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) this year in a letter to the Texas Education Agency Commissioner.

“Dear Commissioner Morath,” the letter reads, “This spring, I worked with Congressman Kevin Brady to get a waiver system established by the U.S. Department of Education to allow Texas to suspend STAAR testing without losing federal funding.

“As you know, most of this high-stakes standardized testing is required by federal law as a condition to billions of dollars in federal education funds. That’s why I worked with my congressman to create a solution that both gave students relief by suspending STAAR and simultaneously guaranteed billions of federal education funds continued to flow to Texas public schools.

“I oppose STAAR testing now more than ever. And keep in mind, I have voted against STAAR every time it has come before me on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. These high-stakes standardized tests give our kids emotional strain and anxiety in a normal year. During the COVID-19 Shutdown’s disruption to our children’s lives, STAAR testing would compound the problems created by the “COVID Slide.” I know you are concerned by the many students who have dropped below grade level and fallen behind in their education. Not to mention the 300,000 formerly enrolled students who are now missing from the Texas public education system entirely.

“Our children are still struggling to catch up in school while combatting anxiety, depression, and suicide. According to the CDC, one in four of our young people now struggle with suicidal ideations. That’s why it’s imperative to cancel STAAR tests this school year and focus instead on helping our kids excel in learning.

“I urge you to join me in seeking a federal waiver for Texas to cancel STAAR tests for the 2020-2021 school year. While I am grateful for your efforts to waive the Student Success Initiative testing, we cannot stop with grade 5 and 8. Join me in fighting to cancel STAAR tests for every student this year.”

Steve Toth is a small business owner representing South Montgomery County on the powerful Appropriations Committee in the Texas House of Representative. Representative Toth has appeared as a contributor on CNN, FOX News, Fox Business News, and OAN. Rep. Toth also serves as chairman of the board for the Mighty Oaks Foundation ministering to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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