Texas Legislature
6:30 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Lawmakers Postpone Crucial Vote On High-Stakes Testing Bill

Lawmakers managed to postpone a high-stakes testing bill on the first Friday the Senate has worked this session.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said it was an agreement in principle that the Senate would take up and pass a House bill being carried by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, which reduces the number of end-of-course exams from 15 to five.

"But apparently a number of members - principally Democrat, but some Republicans - had not been in the meeting and felt like they had not been briefed enough. And I understand that, I understand that," Patrick said.

The chief concern thus far has been by some in the Senate that reducing the number of high-stakes test will reduce the amount of rigor, an issue that San Antonio Democrat Sen. Leticia Van DePutte has been in front of since the start of the bill.

"I would love to see a 4 x 4 x4 x 3 plan using those applied math and science courses that are developed and really in conjunction with the local needs," Van De Putte said.

Van De Putt’e amendment to the bill adds rigor by allowing school districts the option of adding Algebra II and a third year of English.

Dewhurst said he also prefers a testing plan that not only maintains rigor but also includes an increased amount of school accountability.

After just over four hours of meeting behind closed doors, Dewhurst elected to postpone a vote on the bill until this Monday morning.