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District considers taking legislators to task on testing
EAST CENTRAL -- The board of trustees is reviewing a proposed resolution, aimed at prompting the Texas Legislature to “develop a [testing] system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and other external evaluation arrangements, and more accurately reflects what students know, appreciate and can do in terms of the rigorous standards essential to their success, enhances the role of teachers as designers, guides to instruction and leaders, and nurtures the sense of inquiry and love of learning in all students.”
The proposed resolution, according to Superintendent’s Secretary Joan Milner after the meeting, was presented to the East Central Independent School District (ISD) board of trustees during its March 22 meeting by Superintendent Gary Patterson. If the trustees approve this at a future meeting, the district will join more than 123 districts across Texas to do so. Sample text proposed by the Texas Association of School Administrators is available on the organization’s website, www.tasanet.org.
The resolution follows the introduction of the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and end-of-course tests for high school students, which replace the previous standardized test, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, or TAKS.
The Floresville and Poth school districts also have passed similar resolutions. Administrators do not oppose accountability, but believe that standardized tests dominate instructional time and prevent the schools from adequately preparing students for their futures, according to the suggested text.
Also related to testing, the board members approved suspending district policy regarding the state-mandated high school end-of-course test results from counting as 15 percent of a student’s final grade. This affects the 2011-12 academic year only, Milner said. Other area school districts have taken similar action for the current academic year, as the new tests are introduced.
In other matters, the board approved refinancing of the district’s bonds, according to Milner.
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