Standardized Testing

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

When House Bill 5 passed last year it signaled yet another change in course for public education in Texas. Texas House and Senate members will take another look next Wednesday at the standards they passed last year and how the State Board of Education has implemented them.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

In the coming week, lawmakers will begin examining curriculum standards set by the Texas State Board of Education under House Bill 5, a law passed in 2013 that provides more flexibility and pathways for student growth, and there is an effort to add more rigorous courses in math and science.

From its very conception, higher education officials and some within the business community have taken issue with HB 5 because it dropped student requirements for taking courses like Algebra II.

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.

Flickr user Bill Selak / cc

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.

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