Eliminate over-testing and under-investing in Texas students.
Governor Perry signed HB5 into law. TAMSA commends this action and thanks our Governor for listening to his constituents. Texas students will benefit from less testing and more learning, and educators can provide enriched instruction that gives a deeper level of understanding. This new law also saves Texas hundreds of millions of dollars by limiting state-mandated standardized tests, and Texas students can choose high school courses that are relevant and engaging.
Read our Press Release: HB5 Becomes Law!
Read our eblast sent June 10, 2013
Governor Perry vetoed HB2836 and HB2824, as well as signed HB866 into law. HB866 reduces state-mandated STAAR tests from 17 to 11 in grades 3 -8 for students who perform well on STAAR tests; however, this law needs a waiver from NCLB before it can be enacted.
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HB5 limits state-mandated tests to 5 EOCs: English I (R&W combined), English II (R&W combined), Algebra I, Biology, and US History. Two optional EOCs, Algebra II and English III, can be administered at the districts' option.
HB5 Conference Committee Report Summary
TEA Initial Assessment Requirements Under HB5
TAMSA is a statewide, grassroots organization comprised of parents and other community members concerned with the overemphasis on high stakes STAAR tests and the misallocation of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to the tests that should be going to the classroom. Our mission is to improve public education in Texas through the use of meaningful and effective student assessments that allow for more productive classroom instruction and more efficient use of public funds.
TAMSA advocates for the use of national norm-referenced tests in grades 3 through 12 and limiting the use of expensive state-designed STAAR and End-of-Course (EOC) exams. Specifically we advocated for the following during the 83rd Legislative Session:
- Decreasing the number of End-of-Course (EOC) exams to no more than 3 in the foundational subjects of math and language arts.
- Utilizing SAT & ACT tests to determine college readiness, since these are the only tests that colleges - including Texas universities - consider in admissions.
- Changing elementary/middle school STAAR testing to grades 3, 5 & 8 only for reading and math; grades 4 & 7 only for writing.
- Allowing nationally recognized tests in lieu of STAAR for grades 3-8; such as Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), STANFORD, ReadiStep (pre-SAT), or EXPLORE (pre-ACT).
- Eliminating the requirement that EOC exam scores count for 15% of a student's final grades
- Eliminating performance level requirements for English III and Algebra II EOC exams.
- Making the Cumulative Score requirement optional.
These high-stakes tests create unnecessary barriers to graduation, take valuable classroom instruction time, and divert significant public funding to a for-profit testing company instead of the classroom. Further, students who fail to meet these high-stakes are barred from admission to Texas public four year universities and colleges. In addition to its economic costs: STAAR imposes other significant costs: teaching to the test, numerous benchmarks and practice tests, remediation classes replacing electives, and students asking "please tell me the right answer" instead of investigating possible answers for themselves.
Please join us as we advocate in Austin for our children and their schools!
June 10, 2013: Texas Tribune: Perry Signs High School Curriculum, Testing Bill
June 10, 2013: Austin American Statesman: Gov. Perry Signs Sweeping Education Bill
June 10, 2013: Washington Post: Texas Governor Signs Legislation to Reduce Standardized Testing