Eliminate over-testing and under-investing in Texas students.
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.
Advocacy efforts during the 83rd Legislative session resulted in successfully reducing excessive end-of-course exams in high school from 15 to 5 (Learn more about HB5). TAMSA understands that the work to ensure meaningful assessment is far from complete and stands ready to advocate for further reforms during the 84th Legislative Session.
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TAMSA advocates for the following:
- Use state-mandated standardized testing for diagnostic purposes only — to identify areas where students need additional support. Texas needs to eliminate all high-stakes testing and ensure that state-mandated exams are diagnostic, not punitive.
- Ensure that state mandated testing is not excessive -by decreasing the number of tests to no more than required under federal law. To the extent that Texas must comply with NCLB, current STAAR tests are still more than required under federal law.
- Ensure assessments are valid and developmentally appropriate.
- Ensure the appropriate use of standardized testing for special education and disabled students, as well as a reasonable phase-in for English Language Learner (ELL) students — to prevent these students from being inappropriately subjected to punitive consequences of high-stakes tests.
- Use national norm-referenced tests to provide better student assessment than expensive state-designed STAAR exams. These tests (e.g. SAT/ACT) are proven and cannot be taught. “Passing rates” are not manipulated, and they are nationally recognized. State-mandated standardized tests create unnecessary barriers in our public education system, take valuable classroom instruction time, and divert significant public funding to a for-profit testing company instead of the classroom.