AUSTIN (AP) – State Board of Education members have pressed the Texas education commissioner about whether high-stakes standardized testing is warping classroom teaching to ensure students spend more time preparing for the exams then actual learning.

Texas Education Agency head Robert Scott responded to questions from board members Thursday saying having kids cram is “a perversion of what’s intended.”

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He said the tests are supposed to ensure students don’t fall through the cracks and hold teachers and school districts accountable.

But Scott also acknowledged that some schools over-prepare for tests.

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He said authorities now put so much stock in their results, “that it’s become the heart of the vampire” for school accountability statewide.

Instead, he said officials need to find a balance.

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