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Texas Legislators Again Hurting School Children

Apr 25, 2017 by

“Texas Legislators Again Hurting School Children”

By Donna Garner

4.25.17

 

Okay, Texas legislators, go ahead and scale back the STAAR tests; but do not come crying to the public years later because Texas students cannot write and do not know any history!  

 

Without the STAAR/End-of-Course Tests to serve as a type of  “measuring stick,” how are parents or anyone else going to know whether students have been taught and whether they have mastered the course content mandated by the Texas Education Code?  

 

Without a “measuring stick” that is closely aligned to the Texas curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education, how will anyone know whether students have mastered the basic content knowledge of the TEKS or whether students have had a grand, old time playing games on their techie devices all day long at school?

 

Without a “measuring stick” built upon objective data, how will anyone know whether a school is a quality school academically or whether it simply has done a great job of “selling” to the public a well-devised marketing image?

 

If students are evaluated on nationally normed tests (e.g., SAT, ACT, etc.) which are NOT aligned with the day-to-day curriculum standards adopted by Texas, how is that fair for students and teachers?  Besides that, the nationally normed tests are now aligned with the Common Core Standards which have been forbidden by the Texas Attorney General and HB 462 to be taught in Texas public schools (passed by the 83rd Legislative Session — http://tinyurl.com/lcjwb5r).  

 

No, the TEKS are not perfect nor are the STAAR and End-of-Course Tests; but at least they are products put together by Texans for Texas public school students; and Texans have direct authority over those products – not some nationally affiliated Common Core, money-making profiteers!  

 

Texas Legislators, please do not further erode the education reform efforts in our state by taking away any vestige of accountability for both students and their teachers. Humans tend to sink or rise to whatever expectations are set for us. With fake news surrounding us and very disturbing cultural and political indoctrination rampant in our nation, now is not the time to turn out Texas high-school graduates who are not academically equipped independently to become solid American citizens and well-informed voters.    

 

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4.25.17 — “Will Texas Continue Scaling Back Its Dependence on STAAR Tests?”

By Eva-Marie Ayala

 

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2017/04/25/will-texas-continue-scaling-back-dependence-staar-tests

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

Texas lawmakers seem determined to chip away at standardized testing requirements as the House Public Education Committee on Monday sent out a bill that would significantly reduce the number of STAAR tests kids have to take.

The bill would eliminate standardized tests in areas not required by the federal government. That would mean reducing high school end-of-course exams down from five to three —cutting U.S. history and one writing test — as well as getting rid of writing tests in fourth and seventh grades. The eighth-grade social studies tests would also be cut. The bill now goes before the House for consideration.

In 2011, the state was on track for high schoolers to take 15 end-of-course exams and have those tests make up 15 percent of students’ overall grades for a class. But parents and educators organized against the plan.

So in 2013, lawmakers cut the 15 percent provision and reduced the required number of end-of-course tests to five.

Then, last session, the Legislature approved a trial run of so-called individual graduation committees that allow seniors who fail up to two end-of-course exams to earn a diploma if a panel of their parents and selected educators approves their appeal.

That committee provision was set to expire this year, but a bill making it permanent is expected to pass the Senate this week.

Meanwhile, today the House Public Education Committee will hear a bill by Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, that also takes on standardized testing. Among other things, it would: reduce the number of standardized tests; allow districts to use STAAR-alternatives for accountability; and prohibit districts from using standardized testing performance in teacher evaluations. A lawsuit filed by various teacher groups over using STAAR in evaluations heads to court this spring.

a bill by Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, is advancing that would require districts to disclose how much they are spending on STAAR testing. It will soon go before the House.

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1 Comment

  1. Zarec

    For someone who supposedly is an ex-teacher you sure don’t understand anything about common core.

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