HISD Against TAKS Testing

The Houston School Board meets to start discussing a resolution asking the state Legislature to do away with the TAKS standardized test, and replace it with "end of course exams" in core subject areas. They'll vote on the resolution April 12th, as Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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Many teachers and parents say there's so much at stake with the TAKS test, for students, teachers and school districts, teachers have to spend too much class time preparing students to take it. Two bills before the legislature would replace the TAKS test with exams in core curriculum subjects at the end of the school year, and HISD Board Vice President Harvin Moore says that's a better way.

"I think that you'll find a little bit less of a focus on what some people call "teaching to the test", when you can test at the end of the year, and therefore you have more time to teach the materials and the skills."

Moore says the TAKS only says a student passes or fails. It says nothing about how much a student is learning or how he or she is doing in school, as "end of course" exams would do. He wants a test that shows students are doing better and succeeding, not just getting by.

"Part of a successful new regimen of testing would not only be "end of course" exams, but it would be to focus the accountability system on improvement, and not just on whether everybody passed."

Moore says he'll vote for the resolution to the legislature at Thursday's meeting, and he thinks most of the other board members will to. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.