“The top of the agenda for me will be education, resources, infrastructure, the things that will help Texans cope with the tremendous growth we’re seeing in this state, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus told reporters last week in response to other leaders’ declared priorities.
Final Adequate Yearly Progress ratings were posted to the Texas Education Agency website on Wednesday, but not without objections from more than 100 school districts that petitioned all the way to the Texas Supreme Court to quash the release of the federal accountability ratings. The ISDs’ contention is the state’s education code authorizes one but not both systems, and that the TEA has adopted standards without input from school districts.
Texas school districts continue to fall behind the rising requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires 100 percent proficiency by 2014. Three out of four Texas districts and half of all campuses failed to meet adequate yearly progress.
The debate over student testing continues across the country. A new report found that the United States spends nearly $2 billion on standardized test preparation. Business interests, including the Texas Association of Business, which had expressed opposition to any significant changes to STAAR exams or graduation requirements recently have indicated a willingness to consider changes during the upcoming Legislative Session. Parents who oppose high stakes testing are growing louder in their protests. However, during the state education finance trial, TEA administrators said that STAAR tests were not too difficult and that college-readiness should be considered as part of any passing grade.