Standardized Testing

Christopher C. Leonard / cc

The U.S. Department of Education has denied the Texas Education Commissioner’s waiver to opt-out of  testing requirements connected to the No Child Left Behind program.

Since taking office, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has petitioned the federal government to allow Texas to opt-out of 15 provisions in the Department of Education program known as No Child Left Behind.

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In the first segment:

No Child Left Behind had a controversial life. It was maligned from the right for seizing local control from school districts and boards and was was hit from the left for its punitive nature and its narrow focus on test scores.  

This is probably the reason why nearly 50 percent surveyed felt it had done nothing or been bad for schools as congress was ramping back up for reauthorization back in 2007.

Christopher C. Leonard / cc

The state has released this year’s school accountability ratings under the agency’s new rating system, which show 84 percent of all individual campuses and charter schools "met standard."

The new school accountability system, which was passed by the Texas Legislature during the regular session earlier this year, was designed to make it easier for parents to understand how each school district and individual campuses measured up.

Screen shot from "Mr. Smith goes to Washington."

Segment 1:

When we think about the filibuster we think about Jimmy Stewart collapsing on the floor of the Senate in the movie "Mr. Smith goes to Washington," or Rand Paul and his drone filibuster, and now maybe you think of Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster at the end of June.  

For the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, the party that controls that chamber in Congress, they think of a headache.  

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Parents, students and several lawmakers crowded into the governor's press room to witness Gov. Rick Perry signing legislation into law that changes the state’s public education system. 

While there were a handful of bills on hand, the one that stood out most was a bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams students are required to take from the current 15 standardized tests down to five.