After delving into this story, I was immediately whisked back to a much younger version of myself. I remember sitting in the library surrounded by my peers as the morning light streamed through the windows and onto the desk in front of me, highlighting the scantron form that would indicate to the powers that be whether or not I was making the grade academically.

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I was always a pretty good student and made good grades, but something about those standardized tests made me nervy. Turns out that is a pretty common feeling among many students--both then and now.

The STAAR exams are given to students between the 3rd and 12th grades. They are used as an indicator of how much the students are learning. They also are used to determine a school's rating. Just like kids get grades, so do schools.

Due to the unique circumstances of 2020, there have been many requests from superintendents and Texas school leaders for the Texas Education Agency to waive 2021's STAAR testing, we finally have our answer:

Yes, Texas students will take the STAAR exams in 2021. However, this year the schools will not receive a grade on the results. What about the students? According to the Texas Tribune, "Texas has already committed to allowing elementary and middle school students who fail the exams this spring to move up to the next grade, with district permission."

Will our kids be ready? Some kids have done okay with the at-home learning paradigm, not all have thrived. I have mixed feelings about standardized testing, generally. But particularly on a year like this, the more merciful, reasonable choice seems to put the normal academic process on pause.

The Texas Tribune has delved deeply into this issue and you can read more here.

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