Texas Superintendents Reject High-Stakes Testing, Propose New Vision

K-12 Testing

FairTest Examiner, March 2009

The Texas Association of School Administrators has released a report offering a sweeping plan for reforming their state’s education system. “Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas” calls for fundamentally altering the way society thinks of public education’s purpose and changing priorities from preparing students for the workforce to preparing them for success in life. A key recommendation is to shift from high-stakes standardized testing to multiple measures of student learning.

“For assessment to be of any value, it must move from the present ‘autopsy’ model to one that more resembles a ‘daily check up,’ which continuously identifies student strengths, interests, motivations, accomplishments, and other information necessary so that teachers can design the learning experiences that will best meet each student’s needs.” The ideas in this report can inform the ongoing debate over high school exit exams, the No Child Left Behind law, which was largely modeled after Texas’s high-stakes testing program, and other state assessment practices.