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Student Assessment

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State standardized assessment is a critical component of instruction, but should not be the only measure of student success. A comprehensive system of assessment must acknowledge growth in achievement of at-risk students. The over-emphasis on high stakes testing has created an environment that focuses on test preparation and mastery of testing techniques. Limits must be placed on the number of preparation tests that are administered, and on test administration processes that do not adversely impact students not engaged in assessment.

 

Reduce STAAR testing in grades 3-8.

84th Legislative Session Results:

  • Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced that results of 2015 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) in mathematics for grades 3–8 will be excluded from the 2015 state accountability system. Commissioner Williams reached his decision following numerous discussions with math teachers, parents and superintendents across the state regarding new curriculum standards in mathematics for grades K–8.

Strengthen limitations on benchmark testing in all grades.

84th Legislative Session Results:

  • HB 1164: Texas PTA supported House Bill 1164. The bill passed. It authorizes a writing assessment study and pilot program to develop an alternative method of assessing writing than the current STAAR writing assessment. The alternative method will be piloted in several school districts and a recommendation will be made to legislators prior to the next legislative session. 

Consider limiting state testing to Readiness Standards.

84th Legislative Session Results:

  • SB 313: Texas PTA supported Senate Bill 313. The bill passed. The bill develops a framework to guide the SBOE in narrowing the essential knowledge and skills of the foundation school curriculum and to ensure that the SBOE adopts instructional materials that do not consume the entire amount of the instructional materials allotment so that districts will have the ability to spend their allotments for purposes other than just the purchase of textbooks. 

Monitor newly combined English Reading and Writing End Of Course (EOC) exams. 

84th Legislative Session Results:

  • SB 149: Texas PTA supported Senate Bill 149. The bill passed. The first bill to make it to the Governor’s desk was SB 149, relating to graduation committees for students at risk of not graduating because they have not passed one or two EOC exams. The bill allows students who have passed the course(s) but failed the EOC(s) to receive their diplomas with the unanimous approval of an individual graduation committee composed of teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents. Committees can require other demonstrations of mastery of the material. 
  • HB 462: Texas PTA supported House Bill 462. The bill failed. This would have allowed successful completion of dual credit courses as an alternative to compliance with end-of-course assessment requirements. While HB 462 failed to pass, the language was added to HB 18 that has passed.

 

Public Hearing Testimonies:

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