AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas state lawmaker filed a bill Wednesday aimed at replacing the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test in schools.
State Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-TX), who represents Collin County in District 66, announced Wednesday he had filed House Bill 680 because he is "concerned about the accuracy and validity of STAAR tests after reviewing a study by The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin."
According to Shaheen, the study stated, “Because we do not have confidence in these results, we were forced to conclude that analyzing item readability in a reliable manner for this report is not possible.”
“If changing the method by which we test our students will help maximize student academic potential and not decrease accountability, I’m willing to fight for an innovative substitute to STAAR, which is why I filed House Bill 680,” Shaheen said in a press release.
Shaheen said he formed an advisory panel of constituents with varying education backgrounds to examine a more effective form of testing that accurately shows whether students score above or below grade level.
According to the panel, student testing would yield more accurate assessments by adapting test content to each student’s knowledge level. They added that by "moving to an adaptive form of assessment, we can accurately measure grade level, college readiness proficiency levels, and growth."
“I am determined to correct the course of this floundering accountability system for the future of our children and the Lone Star State. I was elected to make decisions in the best interest of my constituents, and that includes our children,” Shaheen said.
In August 2022, for the first time since the COVID pandemic began, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released its accountability ratings for the state’s school districts and individual campuses. According to the TEA, it showed progress in catching students up.
In November 2022, a report from an advocacy group asked Texas lawmakers to de-emphasize the STAAR test and take other things into account when measuring student and school success.
Raise Your Hand Texas told KVUE by not relying solely on the STAAR to measure academic progress, a huge burden could be lifted off students. It will also give teachers more liberties.
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