As lawmakers in the Texas House prepare to debate the state’s budget on Wednesday, one proposed amendment could bring attention to standardized testing.
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, commonly known as the STAAR test, is the state’s standardized test administered to students beginning in third grade and given until graduation. The high-stakes exams have drawn bipartisan criticism for years for failing to accurately assess students’ knowledge and redirecting classroom education to “teaching for the test.”
Lawmakers have an opportunity to change that on Wednesday.
A proposed budget amendment by State Rep. Mary González (D–Clint) would simply require the state auditor to review the exams administered in third grade “to determine whether the assessment instrument is able to accurately measure student success.”
While small in scope, the amendment could serve as a starting place for lawmakers to expand on, offering potential tweaks to review the entirety of the STAAR program or eliminating the program altogether.
Texans who want to see these tests eliminated should encourage their legislators to use every tool at their disposal, including the budget process, to effect change.