State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff is looking into how House Bill 5, a bill passed in the last legislative session that reduces standardized tests and creates multiple educational paths for public school students, can benefit convicted criminals who are locked up.
The last legislative session saw changes to high stakes standardized testing in Texas, but many public school advocates say the reforms didn’t go far enough.
Starting in the Fall of 2014 Texas students will only have to take five standardized tests, which is down from 15. House Bill 5 passed unanimously in both the state house and senate – and was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. There was, however, another testing bill that also passed, but this one got different treatment from the governor.
The GED test will undergo significant changes beginning in 2014.
Each year, 700,000 people across the country take the GED test, but only 450,000 pass. In Texas, there are about 3 million adults without a high school diploma or GED. Starting on January 1st, the GED test in Texas will undergo some major changes.
GED Testing Service President Randy Trask said the number of sections in the test has gone down to four, and the exam has moved completely online. GED students will be able to sign up for the test online an only have to pay for the specific exam they need.
The review process for next year's State Board of Education-approved biology textbooks has already hit several bumps along the way with controversial comments by reviewers about evolution and climate change, but now there are allegations about improper conduct by SBOE Chairwoman Barbara Cargill.
A group of conservative activists have posted dozens of tests online connected to the controversial CSCOPE lesson plans, which will cost the operating group an estimated $1 million to replace them for teachers who are still using them for this year.
The Texas System of Education Service Centers, the group that developed and manage the CSCOPE lesson plans, has seen at least 30 tests connected from the system show up on two conservative-based websites, one of those is www.redhotconservative.com.
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.