The Testing Reform Push In Texas Is Not Over Yet

Sep 19, 2013

The last legislative session saw changes to high stakes standardized testing in Texas, but many public school advocates say the reforms didn’t go far enough.

Starting in the Fall of 2014 Texas students will only have to take five standardized tests, which is down from 15. House Bill 5 passed unanimously in both the state house and senate – and was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. There was, however, another testing bill that also passed, but this one got different treatment from the governor.

"We actually passed the bill out of the house and the senate to decrease the number of tests for the lower grades – but the governor vetoed that bill," said state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, who led the legislative charge to rein in the number of the tests.

"The truth is that Texas -- even with these reforms and even if that bill had passed into law -- would still lead the nation in the number of tests it administers to its students," Villarreal said.

The bill that passed also reduces maximum hours students prepare for tests -- from 90 down to 21 -- creates more flexible diploma plans and abolishes the rule that end-of-year tests count for 15 percent of a course's grade.

Villarreal is hosting a town hall meeting on the Testing Reforms tonight at Trinity University.