Standardized Testing

It has been a high-stakes year for high-stakes standardized tests.

The debate over renewing the big federal education law turned, in part, on whether annual testing would remain a federal mandate. Republicans initially said no, Democrats said yes. Ultimately the overhaul passed with tests still in place.

Flickr user biologycorner (Shannan Muskopf) / cc

According to a recent study from the Texas Association of Business, students who don't pass the state standardized STAAR test, which they need to graduate, are taking advantage of a waiver program allowing them to still graduate. 

For the first time in 25 years, America's fourth- and eighth-graders are doing worse in math, at least according to The National Assessment of Educational Progress.

NAEP, also known as the Nation's Report Card, tests students in both grades every two years on math and reading ability. This year, math scores reversed a long, upward trend with both grades testing lower than they did in 2013.

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are meeting today with teachers and school officials to discuss ways to reduce the amount of time students spend on standardized testing. Over the weekend, the president called for making sure tests are “fair” and “high quality” and only take up 2 percent of classroom time.

The standardized tests Texas students will take in the spring will be harder to pass. That’s because state Education Commissioner Michael Williams this week announced tougher grading requirements.

But student performance on the so-called STAAR test hasn’t improved as expected, and one education expert believes more students will fail.