November 16, 2020

For Immediate Release
November 16, 2020

(Frisco, Texas) – Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases and increase in hospitalizations across the state, current Texas Education Agency (TEA) guidelines require all students, including those who have chosen virtual learning, be present at a monitored testing session in December for STAAR EOC assessments.

Patterson wrote to the TEA on November 13th after hearing from a number of school administrators about the health concerns and logistical issues that in person testing presents. At the beginning of November, TEA announced that they had extended the testing period to two weeks and also allowed for the utilization of alternative testing sites so that schools would be able to better accommodate testing and current health guidelines. However, for many schools, these flexibilities are not solutions.

In a letter to TEA, Lewisville ISD stated “Even with the extended time frame, it will be nearly impossible to administer tests while ensuring proper social distance protocols are in place. The guidance to test at an alternative testing site is not practical for a district our size as we would have to provide transportation for thousands of students to and from off-campus testing locating during the school day. Additionally, large venues across the state are either closed or operating at significantly reduced capacity, limiting our options.”

Prior to the onset of COVID-19, Patterson has been a staunch advocate for the revision of student assessments and even authored a bill last session that would have provided an alternative to STAAR testing for certain school districts through a pilot program. Patterson called for the elimination of the STAAR test in Spring of 2020 and now urges TEA to eliminate the STAAR EOC tests that are to take place in December. Patterson stated “This school year has brought challenges that no teacher, student, or parent could have imagined, and it is absolutely critical that we focus on educating our children rather than testing them.”

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Urban Affairs, and Resolutions Calendars. He also serves on the House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations, and the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.