When I was in school, every two years we had to take a standardized test in order to pass that grade. For me, the tests were very easy and I always scored well over the 95% range for the state, but that's just me. I remember my first day of seventh grade. First period was English with Ms. Gorman who was about 4'6, 75 pounds, and as soon as we all sat down, she starts preaching about the TAAS test in February. We were like, it's August, why are you talking about February?
Everything she taught was about the big test we would have to take. That became a pattern throughout Junior and High School. All the teachers would teach according to how we would take this standardized test because we had to pass in order to pass the grade.
Once Senior year came, the test was much more important because it also meant if you were going to graduate High School at all and walk the stage with your classmates. That was the TAAS test, Texas Assessment of Academic Skills.
About five years ago, a new test was introduced that was supposed to be harder to help weed people out easier and make sure standards for graduation were high enough to prepare students for college better. This new test is called the TAKS test, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The first year, almost half the students across the state failed this exam. However, they put a stipulation in that they would ease the new test into the school systems so it wasn't seniors taking it that first year, so they continued to take the TAAS for graduation exit.
Anyway, after the first couple of years, they decided major changes needed to be made because too many people were failing. Records amount of people failing standardized exams, so sad... What is going on now is Texas is thinking about passing something that completely gets rid of these standardized exit exams all together. So many people have found it unfair to make students pass every section in order to graduate, even though they are given FIVE opportunities to pass, yes, FIVE!! So sad...
The new method they want to give is 12 different exams over core subjects, and for all the exams, the average needs to be 70. That means you can get an 80 on one section and a 60 on another, and still average a 70 and actually graduate. Personally, I think this is very sad that our public schools aren't able to teach our students what it takes to pass all subjects. How are they going to survive college? I graduated High School with Advanced Honors, and I barely passed my Freshman year in College because I didn't think High School prepared me for college whatsoever. If students don't even have to pass each section, they're going to be flunking out of college right and left in record numbers. However, I guess more high school seniors will graduate instead of having to do summer school or repeating the year altogether.
Donna not happy with the state's decision to get rid of the standardized exams...