Standardized Testing

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AUSTIN — The Texas Senate has approved allowing thousands of high school seniors to graduate this year despite failing one of the standardized exams needed to earn a diploma.

Amarillo Republican Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill offers an alternative graduation plan to an estimated 28,000 class of 2015 seniors who failed to pass one of five required statewide exams in algebra I, biology, English I and II and U.S. history.

Flickr user biologycorner (Shannan Muskopf) / cc

Common Core standards were once thought to be the future of education in America, endorsed by 45 states.  

As Texas students head back to school they are also heading back for another year of high-stakes standardized testing.

The number of required tests are being rolled back, but the school year is still driven by the tests.

And many have reached the conclusion that the testing system is broken.

Once again the Texas Education Agency has declined to raise the standards for the tests, and that's being seen as an admission of failure for the whole testing scheme.

What do you want to see happen with standardized testing?


Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News


State lawmakers took issue with the Texas Education Agency’s plan to keep the standard for writing component of the Texas STAARS exam at a lower level for a third year in a row. Lawmakers voiced concerns with keeping the lower standard and changing the exam while student performance  remains flat.

The state introduced the STAAR exams in 2011 and because of failing test grades the legislature reduced the number of exams from 15 to five in 2013.  

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said the STAAR exam may have run its course. 

US Department of Education

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has asked the U.S. Department of Education allow the state to delay a full rollout of a new teacher evaluation system and teacher's associations are applauding Williams' action.

As per agreement with that allows Texas to opt out of sections of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Williams was to design a teacher evaluation pilot program, test it using voluntary school districts, and then rollout the program after a year.