Advocates Continue Push to Lessen Importance of Standardized Tests in Texas
A new piece posted yesterday on the NPR website entitled Advocates Continue Push to Lessen Importance of Standardized Tests in Texas. Morgan Kilgo reports,
The debate over the proper role of standard tests in evaluating student performance has been going strong in Texas, and around the nation, during the past decade. State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) wants the debate to continue. In January, Landgraf filed a bill that would eliminate the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test, from graduation and grade-level promotion requirements.
Tying standardized testing to graduation can also create an atmosphere of punishment, says Julian Vasquez Heilig, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at California State University, Sacramento.
“Texas has always been really big on punishment, punishing people, punishing schools, punishing everybody,” Heilig said. “Most testing is for informational purposes. It’s not so that you can punish the kids, so they don’t go to the next grade or … so they don’t graduate from high school.”
Heilig says students from impoverished backgrounds tend to do worse on the exams due to a lack of resources.
“These testing regimes have hurt students of color in poor communities,” Heilig said. “We ask some students to run a mile race without their Nike shoes, and then when they have a problem doing it, we say, well, there’s something wrong with them, with their teachers, with their school.”
Read the entire article here.
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