Parents, school officials, and business leaders—and even an ex-lawmaker who once voted for it—expressed alarm last week about new, more-rigorous standardized testing for Texas schoolchildren, the results of which will represent 15 percent of high school students’ grades in core courses.
Supporters say the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STARR, will increase accountability for public schools and ensure high school students take the tests seriously.
But during a five-hour meeting of the Texas House education committee last week, lawmakers and parents raised concerns that some students could see their grade point averages dip if their teachers fail to adequately prepare them for the new tests.
The new testing system, mandated by the legislature in 2007, replaces the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills beginning this school year. It includes tests for grades 3 to 8. In high school, 12 subject tests will be given.
This year’s 7th graders will be the first class required to meet the new requirements.
A version of this article appeared in the February 01, 2012 edition of Education Week as New Tests in Texas Spark Concerns