Thursday, April 24, 2014

Follow us:
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to this news feed 

News

Austin

Lawmakers moving quickly to reform standardized testing

  • Text size: + -
TWC News: Lawmakers moving quickly to reform standardized testing
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

Questioning the test

Standardized testing took another hit in the Capitol Wednesday, when Senate lawmakers voted unanimously to do away with the so-called 15-percent requirement.

Already deferred by the Commissioner of Education twice, it requires school districts to count the results of the STAAR test as 15 percent of a student's final grade. Wednesday's bill would leave that decision up to individual school districts.

The same day, Republican Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock filed an expansive education bill in the House. It, too, includes ending the 15-percent requirement.

"We get in situations where [students] may pass their courses, but not their end-of-year exam and not graduate," Rep. Aycock said. "So they have lots of opportunities to keep them from graduating, and we're looking to reduce those obstacles somewhat."

The House bill also lowers the number of required tests for high school students from 15 to five, a change Sen. Kel Seliger is also pushing on the Senate side.

We also spoke to a representative of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, who pointed out similar changes were adopted during the group's annual convention.

"It’s in line with our overall desire to reduce the emphasis on high-stakes testing in this state,” Holly Eaton with TCTA said.

How we got here

The bigger story hovering over the changes is the recent ruling over school funding. Monday, a state District Judge ruled the system for funding education in Texas violates the state constitution. It's one of several decisions dating back to a 1989 ruling known as Edgewood Independent School District v. Kirby.

In that case, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, filed a suit against the commissioner of education. The suit claimed students in poorer districts weren't getting equal funding compared to students in wealthier districts. Capital Tonight spoke to MALDEF legislative attorney Luis Figueroa about where things stand today.

TWC News: Lawmakers moving quickly to reform standardized testing
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

The 'Majority Party' party

Texas Democrats got together Wednesday night to celebrate the start of session and to do some fundraising. Known this time around as "The Salute 2013," the yearly event was once called the "Majority Party" party. Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa joined us from the event to talk about how Texas Democrats plan to return to majority status again.

TWC News: Lawmakers moving quickly to reform standardized testing
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

10.11.12.241 ClientIP: 54.196.198.213, 23.62.6.183 UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/) Profile: TWCSAMLSP