Texas House Education Leaders Want to Reduce Number of STAAR Tests

A House bill filed Wednesday would cut the number of state-mandated tests needed for graduation from 15 to five.

The Texas House has been a hotbed of foment over the state testing system, known as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR. Two years ago, the House voted to delay the implementing of the new tests. And earlier this year, the budget bill introduced in the House nixed all funding for the assessment system.

Now, the testing critics in the Texas Capitol have the strong support of politically connected of parents and some business leaders who say Texas has gone too far on high-stakes testing.

House Bill 5 was filed by state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, the new Public Education Committee chairman.

"This bill gives students more options and educators more flexibility," Aycock said.

The changes would apply to today's ninth- and tenth-graders. After three administrations of the tests, recent results show that 35 percent of the Class of 2015, the first group of students subject to the tougher system, are still off track for graduation because they have failed at least one end-of-course exam.

For a look at all the changes proposed:

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