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Parent group calls for moratorium on STAAR tests

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/5/5 23:50:00 (2919 reads)

Open in new windowBy STEVE SOUTHWELL

Fallout continues over the state's STAAR standardized testing system, its numerous high-profile failings in recent months, and its high-stakes consequences for Texas school districts.

Today, Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA), the group legislators have referred to as "Mothers against drunk testing" issued a press release calling for a statewide moratorium on any further use of the testing.

In 2015, TAMSA was instrumental in getting Texas legislators to pass House Bill 5, which reduced the number of required STAAR tests for Texas students from 15 to 5.

This call for a moratorium comes on the heels of concerns by districts like Lewisville ISD, which is fighting the Texas Education Agency over close to $50,000 the district will need to spend to have tests regraded after discovering a 20% error rate in a sample of tests it recently sent to have regraded. Students with high scores on one written section of the test had a disproportionately high number of zero scores on a short-answer portion of the English I and English II STAAR tests.

"(TAMSA) finds that the current standardized testing system has so many faults that it cannot be remedied at this time," begins the release. "TAMSA calls for a statewide moratorium on all standardized student testing."

The group goes on to cite Lewisville's grading problems, the use by the testing vendor ETS of uncertified graders, a letter from 50 Houston-area superintendents listing numerous complaints, computer glitches, and a laundry list of other issues the group has with STAAR.

The group is asking the state to change its paradigm, which it says uses the tests as the sole or main criteria in evaluating student and teacher performance, as well as school accountability.

"The current testing regime is not working, is harming students, is costly, and lacks a modicum of common sense," wrote TAMSA Board President, Dr. Theresa Trevino. "The time to stop is now.”

Read the TAMSA release...

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