HISD Asks State Lawmakers To Put Less Weight On Standardized Tests
by: David Pitman, May 11, 2012 7:05:00 pm
Letty Reza is a member of Community Voices for Public Education. It's the group that lobbied HISD board members to approve the resolution.
"If you have the focus on high-stakes testing, on standardized testing, other things will suffer — things like AP courses, or AP exams, or scholarship preparation or college prep courses."
The group says preparing for standardized tests can take up to as many as 45 class days per year. Reza says that practice, which is often criticized as "teaching to the test," interferes with actual learning.
"School is hard already, and with these exams, and so much is riding on them, it makes the student not only stress out — it takes time out of the classroom."
More than 400 suburban and rural districts have adopted similar resolutions asking state lawmakers to consider other factors in how they rank schools. Houston is the first urban district to join in.
The group now wants HISD to change its own district policies. One example would be to exclude STAAR test results in the calculation of grade point averages. The other would be limiting test scores to no more than 20 percent of a teacher's evaluation.