The Texas House has approved and sent to the Senate a bill reducing standardized testing for elementary and middle school students.
Texas now appears ready to step back from the strenuous accountability policies it has long been a national leader in championing.
The Texas Senate isn’t going to debate the sweeping proposal to overhaul high school graduation requirements yet.
The Senate Education Committee has voted to refer to the full chamber a measure reducing the number of standardized tests Texas students must pass to graduate from high school.
Gov. Rick Perry says he supports taking a hard look at the 15 standardized tests Texas high school students are currently required to take for graduation.
The Texas Education Agency says the state could violate federal rules if lawmakers pulled funding for standardized testing.
A top business group called Wednesday for easing Texas’ tough new high school graduation standards amid widespread outcry over the set of standardized tests known as STAAR.
A state expert denied Monday that Texas made its latest standardized test too difficult, saying such exams have always gotten harder but that students still tend to improve their scores over time.
With an estimated 42-percent of new Texas community college students needing remediation, state business leaders are renewing their defense to keep the STAAR accountability system intact.
Texas students taking the ACT college entrance exam have scored slightly lower than the national average.
Although more than half the states are now exempt from the toughest requirements of the federal “No Child Left Behind” education law, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said his goal remains to help Congress fix the law, not to sidestep the stalled overhaul effort.
If the final standards were already in place, more than half the Texas high school students taking the new, more rigorous end-of-course standardized tests would have failed them.
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