Sen. Van de Putte and Rep. Patrick Collaborate for STAAR Reform
(Austin) —Today Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Representative Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, filed companion bills that make substantial changes to the state's testing and accountability system.
S.B. 240 / H.B. 640 eliminates the 15% rule, reduces the number of End of Course exams from 15 to 3 (English III and Algebra I), eliminates the cumulative score calculation, infuses proven testing alternatives such as SAT and ACT exams, suspends 2012-2013 state accountability ratings, and prohibits the use of End of Course exams for student class rank or admission into a Texas college. Most importantly, it provides a broader range of means by which Texas may measure college- and workforce-readiness.
"At the time we passed these testing and accountability measures, it made sense for our students and our schools," said Senator Van de Putte. "We all believed that these tests would raise standards without raising the stakes on kids. But in its implementation that has proven not to be the case. This system is not working. We must admit our mistakes and fix the problems. It is not about us, it's about what's best for schoolkids."
"We have been told that this one-size-fits-all system does not work for our over 1,200 public school districts and charters - we agree," said Representative Patrick. "Senator Van de Putte and I have crafted a bill that is a starting point with the goal of providing students and families with the freedom to learn and create their own future while maintaining what is needed to prepare our students today for a tomorrow we can't begin to imagine."