As bill to reduce standardized tests is debated, STAAR testing begins

STAAR test (KXAN file photo)
STAAR test (KXAN file photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Monday kicks off another round of The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness with the Austin Independent School District.

The state standardized tests are required for students in order to asses their skills and knowledge.

bill making its way through the Capitol is calling for fewer standardized tests. Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, filed House Bill 1333 earlier this year. The bill is known as the Teaching Over Testing Act — It would scale back the number of required standardized tests and reduce its importance in rating schools and districts.

Texas teachers and lawmakers have mixed reviews on the bill and what it would mean for the accountability for schools.

House Bill 1333 would cut the number of required state tests from 22 to 17. It would allow districts to choose their own test providers with state oversight, reduce the weight of the STAAR exam when it comes to rating schools and districts and it would allow districts to use national exams as alternative tests with federal approval.

Some students say tests can cause stress and should not be the deciding factor on whether a student is smart or not.

“I know me personally, I was a decent test taker but I know a lot of people who aren’t and they could get good grades doing homework and turning in assignments but when it comes time for big tests, they get anxiety and just can’t test well,” said Bastrop High School Senior, Jaedon Mcgee.

AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz says school districts should get to choose how to measure success.

“What I think we have to do is we have to look at what we want as a student outcomes both in academic areas but in social areas as well. We want to make sure all students graduate and are prepared for college as the big goals. There are many metrics to meet that and I think that could be very individualized in individual school districts,” Cruz said.

Last week, there was a public hearing on the bill and it was left pending in committee.

AISD’s STAAR schedule:

May 1-5: STAAR EOC for Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History

May 8: STAAR Grades 3, 4, 6, 7 Mathematics

STAAR Grades 5 & 8 Mathematics Retest

May 9: STAAR Grades 3, 4, 6, 7 Reading

STAAR Grades 5 & 8 Reading Retest

May 10: STAAR Grades 5 & 8 Science

May 11: STAAR Grade 8 Social Studies

Elementary: Last day for make-up testing for STAAR tests administered May 8-10

May 12: Middle schools: Last day for make-up testing for STAAR tests administered May 8-11

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