AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) has filed legislation to effectively repeal the STAAR test by eliminating the requirement to use public school assessment instruments as a criterion for promotion or graduation or to make certain accountability determinations.
House Bill 736, authored by Landgraf, seeks to eliminate current testing systems, like the STAAR test, from being used as high-stakes, one-sized-fits-all substitutes for real accountability measures.
"The state's attempt to ensure academic readiness and hold school districts accountable for student achievement through standardized state-wide testing has failed," Landgraf said.
A state-wide assessment instrument places too great of a burden on our students and teachers. Teachers are forced to "teach to the test" so that the largest number of students can achieve scores that meet the minimum level of satisfaction. This destroys any opportunity for teachers to come up with creative ways for students to learn, and limits the amount of time and attention teachers can pay to specific students. Rather than looking at the work a student has done over a semester or school year, the test looks at one day. Rather than assessing growth of students with special needs or the level of intelligence of the most gifted and talented students, the test is designed to assess the average student's understanding of basic curriculum.
"In my view, we should value teaching over testing,” Landgraf said. “This bill will allow us to get back to the basics of education so that Texas students are prepared for college, the workforce or the military when they graduate.”
The 86th Texas legislative session is underway and will run through May 27, 2019.