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My Blog

Number of STAAR Tests Reduced

HB866 reduces state-mandated STAAR tests from 17 to 11 in grades 3 -8 for students who perform well on STAAR tests; however, this law needs a waiver from NCLB before it can be enacted. 

HB5 limits state-mandated tests to 5 EOCs: English I (R&W combined), English II (R&W combined), Algebra I, Biology, and US History. Two optional EOCs, Algebra II and English III, can be administered at the districts' option.

Many parents believe these high-stakes tests create unnecessary barriers to graduation, take valuable classroom instruction time, and divert significant public funding to a for-profit testing company instead of the classroom. Further, students who fail to meet these high-stakes are barred from admission to Texas public four year universities and colleges. In addition to its economic costs: STAAR imposes other significant costs: teaching to the test, numerous benchmarks and practice tests, remediation classes replacing electives, and students asking "please tell me the right answer" instead of investigating possible answers for themselves.

TAMSA is a statewide, grassroots organization comprised of parents and other community members concerned with the overemphasis on high stakes STAAR tests and the misallocation of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to the tests that should be going to the classroom.

TAMSA advocates the reform of standardized testing:
  • Decreasing the number of End-of-Course (EOC) exams to no more than 3 in the core subjects of math and language arts.
  • Utilizing SAT & ACT tests to determine college readiness, since these are the only tests that colleges - including Texas universities - consider in admissions.
  • Changing elementary/middle school STAAR testing to grades 3, 5 & 8 only for reading and math; grades 4 & 7 only for writing.
  • Allowing nationally recognized tests in lieu of STAAR for grades 3-8; such as Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), STANFORD, ReadiStep (pre-SAT), or EXPLORE (pre-ACT).
  • Eliminating the requirement that EOC exam scores count for 15% of a student's final grades
  • Eliminating performance level requirements for English III and Algebra II EOC exams.
  • Making the Cumulative Score requirement optional.




8 Comments to Number of STAAR Tests Reduced:

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