Assessment

State Journal

July 11, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

TAKS Issue

Michigan has its Michigan Educational Assessment Program, or MEAP (rhymes with “weep”). Washington state sits down to the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, or WASL (think tipsy Yuletide revelers). And Maryland, poor Maryland, has to put up with tests known by the acronym MSPAP (pronounced “miz-pap”), for Maryland School Performance Assessment Program.

By comparison, the new name for the next generation of Texas state tests could be worse. Starting in 2003, the current TAAS (for Texas Assessment of Academic Skills) will be replaced by the TAKS (for Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills).

TAKS as in “tacks.” Or as in “tax.”

Texas officials say they have been mulling a new name for months while making do with “TAAS II.” That was the interim moniker for the expanded set of state tests that will be linked to the tougher curriculum standards approved in 1997.

The standards are dubbed the TEKS, for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Their content is being gradually incorporated into the Texas tests. By 2003 the process is expected to be complete, and new tests—in grades 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11—are set to be added to the mix.

Employees of the Texas Education Agency and educators at conferences throughout the state were asked to suggest a new name, said Ann Smisko, an associate state commissioner of schools. It’s been the Texas tradition to signal major changes in the test battery with a new appellation, she said, recounting the decades-long evolution of TABS (Texas Assessment of Basic Skills) to TEAMS (Texas Education Assessment of Minimum Skills) to TAAS.

The final pick was made by Commissioner of Education Jim Nelson, who might now have to live with the sobriquet TAKS Man. Mr. Nelson chose TAKS over TASK, the Texas Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, because “knowledge and skills” is the phrase used for the standards and reversing the two nouns might get confusing, Ms. Smisko said.

Besides, she added, “TASK is sort of negative.”

—Bess Keller

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 11, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
When SEL Curriculum Is Not Enough: Integrating Social-Emotional Behavior Supports in MTSS
Help ensure the success of your SEL program with guidance for building capacity to support implementation at every tier of your MTSS.
Content provided by Illuminate Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Letter to the Editor 2022 Assessment ‘Most Important’ Ever
The executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board responds to criticism of NAEP in this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
iStock/Getty
Assessment Opinion Ignore NAEP. Better Yet, Abolish It
We’ve got to stop testing schools to death, writes Al Kingsley. National (and international) tests won't “fix” education.
Al Kingsley
5 min read
conceptual illustration of a ruler measuring a figure
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty images
Assessment Opinion The Future, Present, and Past of 'the Nation's Report Card'
What lies ahead for the nation's only true barometer of the state of K-12 education?
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment The 'Nation's Report Card' Is Getting an Overhaul: 5 Things to Know
The leaders of NAEP have big plans for making the test more nimble, flexible, and useful.
9 min read
Image of a bank of computers in a library.
baona/E+