News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Texas House Seeking New High School Test
The Texas House of Representatives approved a bill last week that would phase out the state’s standardized exam, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, known as TAKS, at the high school level. The measure is similar to a proposal approved April 19 by the state Senate. ("States Mull Best Way to Assess Their Students for Graduation," May 16, 2007.)
Both versions would replace the TAKS with 12 end-of-course exams that would serve as part of the graduation requirement and part of a student’s grade.
There are differences, however. The amended House version proposes that the new tests account for 25 percent of a student’s grade, while the Senate version specifies 15 percent. The Senate plan would phase in the tests starting in 2009, two years earlier than in the House bill. The Senate bill would require students to average 70 percent across the 12 tests, but the House version does not specify a passing score.
Before a final version could be considered, differences would have to be worked out in a conference committee. The legislative session concludes the end of this month.
Vol. 26, Issue 38, Page 20