Thursday, November 29, 2012

Concerns About STAAR Testing?

A parent organization focusing on STAAR testing and issues related to high-stakes student assessments and accountability will conduct an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, in the Spring Branch ISD Administration Building’s Board of Trustees Meeting Room. The district Administration Building is located at 955 Campbell Road.

In just two months, the 83rd biennial Texas Legislature will open in Austin. In addition to funding issues, Texas lawmakers are expected to review or make changes to the state’s high-stakes standardized testing program during the upcoming Legislature.
Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment, or TAMSA, formed statewide earlier this year as a public school parent group. As a group, TAMSA takes positions on many of the issues related to testing and accountability program in our public schools.
This year will be second administration of the STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) tests. These mandated tests will impact ninth- and 10th-graders, as well as eighth-graders taking Algebra and other related high school courses.
On Nov. 30, Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced that the Texas Education Agency will defer implementation of the 15% grading requirement for STAAR End of Course Exams for the 2012-13 school year. For more information, read the TEA press release.

In SBISD, our Board of Trustees approved grading policy guidelines in February 2012. These guidelines establish that the 15% state requirement will not be used in calculation of SBISD students’ grade point average. 
According to TAMSA, high-stakes testing puts enormous pressure on students and teachers and impacts classroom instruction. In addition, this parent group contends that these tests have cost Texas more than $1 billion in funds over the past 15 years that might have been spent in local classrooms.
In separate but related news, the local parent education group known at Spring Branch Speaks reported recently that a survey of 350 respondents found three top issues for the upcoming Texas Legislature. In order of response, they were public schools funding, local control and reducing standardized testing.
To learn more, please visit the TAMSA website.


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