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Parents in Texas rose up to fight the over testing of their children and to send a message to the Legislature. Testing is not teaching, but the Legislature seemed to think that the way to fix the schools was to add more tests while slashing billions in funding.
Reacting to parent groups like TAMSA (Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessmentt), the Legislature dropped a proposal to require students to pass 15 tests to graduate (it remains five). Almost every school board in the state passed a resolution ahAinst high-stakes testing.
And now the State Education Department (headed by a non-educator) has acted: it switched testing vendors, taking most of the state testing away from Pearson and giving it to ETS.
Jeffrey Weiss of the Dallas Morning Mews asks the key question:
“Whether students, teachers or school officials will notice the change is a question state officials declined to answer Monday.”
Does it really matter which vendor administers too many tests? Does it matter who writes theultople-choice question? Will the stakes change?