From the Office of State Senator Kel Seliger, District 31

March 10, 2011
Contact: Gina Dowdy
(806) 374-8994

Senator Seliger Files Legislation to Reduce Unnecessary Testing Requirements

AUSTIN — State Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) filed Senate Bill 1403 to reward those students who consistently perform well on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) by exempting them from testing in certain years. "There are some students whose progress is evident and testing provides little additional information. We should not test just for exercise," said Seliger.

Current testing data has consistently shown that student performance is over 95% predictable for high achieving students from one year to the next. A student who performs at a certain level on TAKS one year will almost certainly pass the following year. Senate Bill 1403 will exempt those students who score at the top levels in third and fifth grades from taking the tests in fourth, sixth, and seventh grades respectively. All students will still be required to test in math and reading in grades 3, 5 and 8.

In addition to reducing costs to local school districts for test preparation, administration and grading, Senate Bill 1403 will allow teachers more time to focus on those students who are most academically at-risk, and utilize innovative methods to help those children learn.

While he is the newest member of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Seliger has long advocated for a more effective and accurate measure of student performance. During the 80th Legislature, Senator Seliger was a co-author of Senate Bill 1031 by Senator Florence Shapiro, a bill that replaced the TAKS test with end-of-course exams at the high school level.

"We want to make sure that our emphasis is on learning, not high stakes testing. Senate Bill 1403 gets us closer to that goal. I appreciate the input from educators in Senate District 31, who help shape all of my education related legislation," Seliger stated.