Tex. Rep. Isaac Wrong About Testing

Sep 1, 2016 by

jason isaac

“Tex. Rep. Isaac Wrong About Testing”

By Donna Garner


Tex. Rep. Jason Isaac is in the process of drafting legislation that would ditch the STAAR/End-of-Course tests and replace them with nationally normed standardized tests such as the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills.

“Isaac told The Texas Tribune he will file legislation…that would allow school districts to use something like the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills instead of STAAR.” (8.29.16 – Texas Tribune — https://www.texastribune.org/2016/08/29/state-rep-calls-suspension-staar/ )

Note to Rep. Isaac: “Your legislation would be against Texas law. The Iowa Tests are aligned with the Common Core Standards. The Texas Attorney General has ruled that Texas public schools are not to use Common Core Standards which, of course, means schools must also not utilize Common Core assessments such as the Iowa tests.”


The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) were rebranded as “The Iowa Assessments” in the 2011 – 2012 school year. Therefore, the ITBS does not exist anymore.

In 2016 – 2017, a new test called the Next Generation Iowa Assessments (NGIA) will be rolled out; and it is to be aligned with the Iowa Core which itself is aligned with the Common Core Standards. Therefore, the NGIA will be Common Core-aligned.

In other words, the old ITBS is gone; and the new Iowa assessments will be totally aligned with the Common Core Standards. These Iowa nationally normed assessments will be tied to the Type #2 philosophy of the Common Core Standards.

(Type #1 vs. Type #2 Chart — http://www.educationviews.org/comparison-types-education-type-1-traditional-vs-type-2-cscope-common-core/)

Texas certainly should not dump the STAAR/End-of-Course tests, which are aligned to the Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education.

Moreover, Texas certainly should not replace the STAAR/EOC’s with the Iowa/Common Core-aligned assessments.

The Texas Attorney General has ruled that Texas public schools are not to align with the Common Core Standards.

6.17.14 – 11:14 A. M. — Use of the Common Core Standards Initiative by Texas school districts to teach state standards. (RQ-1175-GA) — https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/50abbott/op/2014/pdf/ga1067.pdf

Quotes from the TAG opinion:

Texas school districts are required to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels, and pursuant to subsection 28.002(b-3) of the Education Code, they may not use the Common Core State Standards Initiative to comply with this requirement.

(b-1) In this section, “common core state standards” means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(b-2) The State Board of Education may not adopt common core state standards to comply with a duty imposed under this chapter…

(b-3) A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels under Subsection (c).

(b-4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.


The nationally normed, standardized SAT, Pre-SAT, GED, and ACT Aspire are also aligned to the Common Core Standards.

8.7.16 – “Massive Breach Leaks Test Questions from Common Core-Aligned SAT” – by Dr. Susan Berry — Breitbart — http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/08/07/breach-test-questions-common-core-sat/

4.20.16 – “Get Ready To Ditch the SAT and ACT” – by Robert Holland – The Federalist —


4.1.15 — “Rocky First Year for the New Common Core-Aligned GED” – Associated Press –



In 2016 – 2017, the Iowa Assessments will roll out a new testing program named the Next Generation Iowa Assessments (NGIA). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_Tests_of_Basic_Skills)

The NGIA will measure the Iowa Core. (https://itp.education.uiowa.edu/documents/Alignment_Q_and_A.pdf)

Q: What is the Iowa Core?

A: The Iowa Core is the set of education standards adopted by the State Board of Education in July 2010. In English Language Arts and Mathematics, it consists of the Common Core State Standards, which were the standards required by the U.S. Department of Education for states to be eligible to compete for Race to the Top funds. In the areas of ELA and mathematics, the Iowa Core 2010 replaced the previous version that was adopted in 2008.

Q: When will the Next Generation Iowa Assessments be available to measure the 2010 version of the Iowa Core?

A: In the spring of 2015.

Q: Will the Next Generation Iowa Assessments be more fully aligned to the Iowa Core?

A: The Next Generation Iowa Assessments, planned for an introduction in 2015, will include additional item types (extended performance assessments, short constructed-response items and technology-enhanced items) to provide a more comprehensive alignment.


2.8.15 — “The Confusion Over Standardized Testing” — by Donna Garner – EdViews.org — http://www.educationviews.org/confusion-standardized-testing/

3.1.13 – “Bad Idea To Link Texas Students with National Tests” – by Donna Garner – EdViews.org —


5.21.15 — “Dangers of Switching to New Testing Company” — by Donna Garner – Edviews.org — http://www.educationviews.org/dangers-switching-testing-company/

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  1. Avatar

    Texas can and will do what it wants; but refusing to link itself to the Common Core State Standards Initiative has brought it both benefits and problems. A main benefit is that it has avoided the chaos that has ensued elsewhere, most notably in New York, where Commissioner John King (and others) rushed this and other reforms into utterly unprepared schools and disrupted an entire state system without improving it and then was promoted by President Obama for creating that chaos! A main disadvantage is that it has isolated itself within its state boundaries and cannot easily access the national market for assessment and curricular materials that is developing — but it can solve this by ripping the age-grade labels off the Common Core standards and redistributing them more effectively, thereby arguably complying with your school districts’ statutory requirement to “provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels”.

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    Sandy Kress

    Donna Garner is 100 percent right. One wishes folks would put their energy into more effective teaching and learning to Texas standards instead of political grandstanding. The consequences of what this fellow is proposing are actually a discouraging of teaching to Texas standards.

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