History of Texas accountability system
A history of the accountability system in Texas provides insight into the current state of school accountability in Texas. The Texas Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS) was a criterion-based assessment created by legislative mandate in 1978 to test basic mathematics, reading and writing skills of students at grades three, five and nine. In 1983 it was mandated that ninth-grade students who failed the test had to re-test each subsequent year. Although students were not denied a diploma for failure, campus and district level performance of students was reported publicly and represented the beginning of ‘high stakes’ accountability for large-scale assessment in Texas (Texas Education Agency, Pearson Education …show more content…
This new assessment tool had two major impacts. First, the expectations for individual students were raised by increasing the difficulty of the material on the assessment—no longer were the tests considered minimal skills tests. Passing each of the reading, writing and mathematics components of the grade 10 test, also known as the exit-level exam, was a requirement for receiving a high school diploma in the state. Second, schools were also held to higher standards with the expectation that not only the campus as whole but the specific subpopulations (African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Economically Disadvantaged) had to achieve minimal standards. Passing rates on these standardized exams, along with attendance and drop-out data were used to assign schools accountability ratings with severe repercussions mandated for schools that were placed at the low end of the accountability scale (Texas Education Agency et al., …show more content…
Carnoy, Loeb, and Smith (2003) found a weakness in the relationships between TAKS scores and other outcomes such as high school graduation rates and scores on college entrance exams. Other researchers (Klein, Hamilton, McCaffrey, & Steecher, 2000) analyzed increases in scores in Texas on the NAEP, increases that they state political leaders attributed to the accountability system, and found that Texas score improvements in mathematics at grade 8 are not significantly different from those of other states that did not have strong accountability systems in place. In fact their data show evidence that the achievement gap between white students and underrepresented minorities actually increased. Some argue that the data show that the accountability program actually negatively impacts schools that were already academically behind before the implementation of the accountability system (Fassold,
Dropping testing would “result in higher levels of academic achievement in entering classes at public schools” (Jaschik). A Wake Forest Study showed that “79% of the 2012 incoming class was in the top 10% in high school, before test optional it was in the low 60s%” (Balf). Students who have worked hard in high school should be rewarded for their diligence instead rewarding intelligent students who do not demonstrate the proper effort. When colleges accept students with better grades instead of those with better tests scores, they are more likely to get determined students who will excel in college. At public schools, a 30% increase of minorities and low income applicants was seen when schools become test optional (Jaschik).
For some, standardized tests become more than just the average little road block they are meant to be, they can become the wreck that changes one’s life. Standardized tests began all the way back in the 1800’s with the use heightening when the No Child Left Behind Act went into place in 2001, then mandating that all 50 states had to
In my opinion, public educational curriculums and accountability guidelines should be established at the state and local levels where parents/guardians play an integral role in the decision making process. I do not believe standardized tests alone are an accurate measure of a student’s knowledge; their classwork, projects, and literary works also represent a student’s talent and capabilities. In agreement with Robert Schaeffer, a representative for the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, that federal mandated programs such as the No Child Left Behind and The Race to The Top high-stakes tests foster the temptation to cheat because they serve as means to both punish and reward students, teachers, and principals based solely upon test scores (Schaeffer,
The Goals 2000: Educate America Act was a vital step to reform American education. The overall intent was to aid the nation move toward a system that was based on high standards that all students could meet —a system that will provide both equity and excellence for all of the pupils in this country. The police targeted state-grade support for reform in curriculum and assessment standards. By emphasizing standards-based reform and focused on content and performance standards, along with accountability for improvement, assessment, student performance, accountability, teacher preparation, community and parental involvement, and coordinated changes, to make a few (H. R. 10804 Goals, n.d.). The other object of this policy was to establish a
As “Education week 's” Ron Wolk’s has said, “The system failed to educate them adequately, and now it punishes them for not being educated. " Ron Wolk is stating that with a school district failing to educate its students, these students have to pay the price by failing the test. High Stakes testing may also affect the district. Low scores could result in the reorganization of schools or a shift of resources to charter schools or private-school vouchers. Who knew that one test could severely damage a community and school
The state of Texas has been in a constant struggle within itself over just how to evaluate education, and standardized testing in Texas has been a major influencer in terms of the state’s standards for over thirty years. Though these methods of testing have been utilized for decades, resentment to the tests have been continuously rising among educators, parents, and students, but not everyone agrees. Despite government officials trying to quell these protests with changes to administration, and the way the test itself is formatted and formulated, there seems to have been little to no improvement made and those opposing the tests have started calling for an end to all standardized testing. For one to truly understand this ongoing struggle, one must first look at standardized testing’s beginning, then how government today is trying to fix the broken system, and finally consider the opinions of notable figures in the testing world.
Despite an increase of education scores in the past decade, the United States still trenches behind many countries. Scores found in the Programme for International Student Assessment, the most popular cross sectional test, finds that the United State ranks thirty-eight out of seventy-one countries in test performances of english, math and science literary. But within the country itself contains a deeper issue. The term “achievement gap” is used to describe the polarity between the academic performances of minorities, such as Black and Hispanics, to those of Asians and White students; which are found to be much lower than the latter. Besides test scores, this achievement gap is most apparent in grades and drop-out rates as well.
The state tried to force this child, Ethan, to take this test. In the meantime while Andrea was fighting the school system, Ethan Rediske passed away. It doesn’t have to be this way. Our children aren’t all dying of terrible diseases, but these standardized testing is killing our brothers and sisters creativity and passion for school instead. Standardized tests do not accurately measure what students know and what they can do, nor are they accurate predictors of future success
A friend’s party, recess, and qualifying for the sports team are a few of the common factors that revolve around a child’s life. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t include education. Administering standardized tests will aid in amending the remissness in our future generation of career professionals. Due to the fact that standardized testing provides an opportunity of change from a world of fantasy into a reasonable one, this method should be enforced throughout the nation.
These feelings create a mindset that can lead students to achieve lower scores. Most professional testing associations in the U.S. would deem these tests as “unfair” because they are affected by a “measurement of supposedly irrelevant constructs” (Ford and Helms, 188). Unfortunately, this argument has not altered the use of standardized tests as they continue to lessen the chance of African American student
In most great schools, assessment is at the heart of educating students. Not only is assessment used to support students in their learning, but it is also leveraged by Boards, administrators and teachers to certify the level of student learning. During the 2014-15 school year, there were many assessment-related changes. Some schools transitioned to administering the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP) for the first time, other schools enhanced their skills in using the Performance Series assessment, and all schools made a successful transition to the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP).
Introduction Standardized tests may be used for a wide variety of educational purposes. For example, they may be used to determine a young child’s readiness for kindergarten, identify students who need special-education services or specialized academic support, place students in different academic programs or course levels, or award diplomas and other educational certificates. Thesis Statement Standardized tests should not be eliminated completely, but should rather be evaluated in addition to other factors such as grades, extracurricular activities, and volunteer hours. This would take pressure off of students during standardized tests, allow colleges to see how well-rounded the students are, and give students who are better in other areas
The idea that one test can accumulate all of one student’s academic abilities is no longer accurate. Today, the standardized tests that are used not only discriminate against the non wealthy families, it also is not an accurate reading of all of one’s abilities in and out of school. The tests also have become such a huge focus in the classroom that it is beginning to take away the process of learning in a classroom and being replaced with memorization to get good test scores. The standardized tests do not need to disappear all together, however the tests need a lot of revising if the states continue to use them as they do
According to Obama’s Race to the Top Program, teachers in subject areas and grade levels that do not have required state tests (music, art, and kindergarten through third grade) or do not have enough state tests to accurately measure student growth will become the state’s responsibility to create an alternative system of evaluating student growth
In 2001 President George W. Bush passed the ‘No Child Left Behind’ education reform, which expanded the state mandated standardized testing and assesses the schools performance. Standardized testing is not a proper way to measure the abilities of students. Students will take numerous standardized tests that they become lazy thus they will not receive proper results.