A Pass on State Math Exams for Fifth-and Eighth-Graders

Aug 24, 2014 by

Texas public school students entering the fifth and eighth grades this fall have received what may amount to a get-out-of-jail-free card on their end-of-year state math exams.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced on Friday that because it’s the first year of transition to new curriculum standards, the state would suspend a law that requires fifth- and eighth-graders to pass the exams to advance to the next grade level.

While the waiver was officially announced Friday, Williams advised school districts in a letter in May that they should use other “relevant academic information to make promotion or retention decisions” in math for the upcoming year.

“There are substantial challenges associated with implementation of the revised mathematics statewide curriculum standards in the STAAR grades 3-8 assessments,” he said at the time.

Students will still take the math exam, but they will not be prevented from graduating if they do not pass. Last year, just under 40 percent of eighth-graders and 45 percent of fifth-graders passed their state math exams on the first attempt. Under the so-called social promotion law, they can retake the exam up to three times before they are ultimately held back.

via A Pass on State Math Exams for Fifth- and Eighth-Graders | The Texas Tribune.

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