Thompson: Texas Testing Backlash
The Houston Chronicle's Monica Rhor writes in "School Officials: High Stakes Tests Failing Students" that a "mounting chorus of school administrators, educators and parents is speaking out against a system in which they say testing has eclipsed teaching." At least 40 school boards across Texas have gone on record against the bubble-in craze and even state Education Commissioner Robert Scott condemns the testing culture as "the heart of the vampire." Rhor writes, "what began as a way to measure student learning, administrators and school trustees say, has ballooned into a 'drill-and-kill' cycle of test preparation, district benchmark assessments and practice exams that leaves little time for classroom instruction." And this public backlash is taking place before the new STAAR testing regime takes full effect and increases the stakes and the costs of testing, during a time of budgetary cutbacks. We in Oklahoma City have fond memories of Guy Sconzo, who is now superintendent of the Humble ISD. I was pleased to see Sconzo go on record against the 45 days of the school year that are interrupted by standardized tests, and four-hour-long, high-stakes exams that 3rd graders must take. "It's a single-moment-in-time assessment that does not come close to measuring all that Texas students are expected to learn," Sconzo said.-JT (@drjohnthompson)image via.