April 20


Falling STAAR

Legislators likely to tweak the state's unpopular standardized tests again

Crying parents, precocious children, vengeful teachers, and eloquent administrators: just your average education committee hearings at the Texas capitol last Tuesday. State legislators in both the house and senate held separate hearings for the biannual airing of grievances against the state’s standardized testing system. This time the aggrieved may have found their most sympathetic audience yet, at least in the senate hearing, which focused solely on testing.

Most panelists agreed that the sheer number of tests have brought the education system to the breaking point. As one superintendent explained, under the current system a child in Texas public schools will take 35 standardized and benchmark tests from kindergarten through high-school graduation. The state also leads the nation in requiring students to pass 15 end-of-course examinations in order to graduate.

While the argument has gained new data and gravity, the fight itself goes back more than 30 years.

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