Sen. Patrick Asks For Moratorium On Certain Tests

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock and Sen. Dan Patrick at Texas Tribune Event at Rice University.
In Texas, there has been a growing backlash against standardized tests. Now one lawmaker from the Houston area wants to put a stop to certain exams all together.

Right now high school students have to take fifteen standardized tests to graduate.

Many parents, educators and lawmakers say that’s too many.

State Sen. Dan Patrick plans to go even further.

Patrick says he’s sending a letter to the Education Commissioner asking for a moratorium on certain tests.

“It’s clear to me after eight hours of testimony in the Senate and the House that we are going to come up with fewer tests than the 15. And while that final decision has not been made on the number or the subjects, one the test that won’t be in there, I feel certain, is world history, which is taught in the tenth grade.”

Patrick, a Republican from Houston, chairs the education committee in the Texas Senate.

He says the course in world history wouldn’t go away — just the state exam.

“Students will have to take it. I don’t want the public to misunderstand. Students will have to take it in school and pass it, but in terms of it not being a standardized test. So if we’re not going to count that moving forward, which I do not believe we will, why take time out of the school day and have the test this year when we’re going to say to the students next year by the way that didn’t count. So that’s one test this year.”

There are several proposals in the state Legislature to reduce the number of standardized exams.

Meanwhile Patrick wants to expand a different kind of test in high school, the SAT. Patrick says every high school student should take the college entrance exam.

Right now the SAT is encouraged but not required.

From the KUHF Education Desk, I’m Laura Isensee.

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...