Jeffrey Weiss, education writer for the Dallas Morning News, wondered how much Texas has spent on standardized testing since 1980, when the state began its statewide testing program.


He made inquiries at the Texas Education Agency, but no one could help him. He was told that they keep records only for four years. He knew that the current Pearson contract came to $438 million for five years, about $85 million a year.


Weiss writes:


Apparently this refusal to maintain even the totals, at least officially, is a longstanding policy. I found a piece about the economics of testing from 2002 that had this note: “And on and on. Texas state spending on testing has risen from $19.5 million in fiscal year 1995 to $68.6 million in fiscal year 2001. (Surprisingly, Texas Education Agency officials were unable to provide figures prior to 1995.)”


Very interesting. The cost of statewide testing has gone up from $19.5 million a year to $85 million a year.


Someone should do a cost-benefit analysis. And a study of the lobbying that has produced that enormous increase in costs.