Standardized Testing

Federal education officials have denied a state waiver that would have eliminated the need to test eighth grade students' math skills more than once -- the denial is related to provisions in House Bill 5 that reduced the overall number of end-of-course exams.

Christopher C. Leonard / cc

Michael Williams, the Texas education commissioner, said some of the biggest school districts in the state are showing interest in a new state-initiated teacher evaluation program but teacher’s unions fear the pilot program will involve high-stakes test scores.

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In the first segment:

The debate over vouchers is heating up on the national level with proposed legislation, "The Scholarship for Kids Act of 2014" to give federal dollars to students opting out of public school. School choice is the best way for underserved communities to get a good education, say conservatives pushing this legislation.

Texas Education Agency

According to the Texas Education Agency, nearly a quarter of all high school juniors have fell short of end-of-course graduation requirements -- those numbers were what attorneys led with on day two of the Texas school finance trial.

According to the TEA, over 309,000 students met the necessary requirements and passed a set of end-of-course exams in order to graduate in 2015, which works out to about 76 percent of all Texas high school juniors.

Flickr user biologycorner (Shannan Muskopf) / cc

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has been meeting one-on-one with school superintendents, hoping to design a template for teacher evaluations.

As part of an agreement Williams reached with the U.S. Department of Education in order to opt out of the federal No Child Left Behind program, Williams must design a solution for how schools evaluate teachers by May 2014.

"I am talking to superintendents and I am pleased, quite frankly, for teachers to be evaluated and to some degree, student growth be a part of that evaluation," Williams said.

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