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Eighth-Graders Face The Stress of TAKS – Guinea Pigs For Texas’ Latest Experiment In High-Stakes Testing

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 26, 2007

Houston Chronicle
Aug. 26, 2007, 7:26AM

BACK TO SCHOOL

Class of 2012 on front lines of high-stakes tests, but effect of stress raises concerns
Kirby Middle School eighth-grader Eddie Maxwell practices the same ritual every night before a high-stakes test: He takes a warm bath and says lots of prayers.

It’s a recipe he’ll have to rely on again this year as eighth-graders statewide are required to pass the reading and math parts of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills before they can start high school.

The Class of 2012, now the poster children for standardized testing in Texas, was the first required to pass the test to be promoted as third-graders in 2003 and as fifth-graders in 2005.

Texas’ 13-year-olds are on the front lines of high-stakes testing, sitting for more must-pass tests than any class before them. Though the full impact of the state’s extensive testing won’t be known for some time, experts worry that the extra stress may have ill effects on this class, including increased anxiety and higher dropout rates.

“They’re certainly the guinea pigs for Texas’ latest experiment in high-stakes testing,” said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for the nonprofit National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

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Posted in Education, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, TAKS, TEA, Texas Education Agency, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

No Child Left Behind Texas Model

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Posted in Education, No Child Left Behind, Politics, Texas Education Agency, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

4-Day School Week Not A Good Idea

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Lancaster ISD has withdrawn its waiver request recently submitted to the state requesting approval to launch a four-day school week starting next month.

The idea was probably not a sound educational and administrative alternative for the students, parents and community.

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Posted in Education, No Child Left Behind, Texas Education Agency | 1 Comment »

Texas Court Denies New Bi-Lingual Education Claim

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Leading Hispanic civil rights groups – LULAC and GI Forum – represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund – filed a petition last year urging Judge William Wayne Justice to update the sweeping court order he issued 35 years ago that forced Texas to provide better education for limited-English proficient (LEP) students across the state.

Judge William Wayne Justice found no evidence to support the new claims:

“Problems for Hispanic high school students – including low test scores and high dropout rates – cannot be directly linked to the state’s bilingual and English as a Second Language programs, the judge said in 34-page opinion outlining his ruling.”

“…the court will not simply assume, without more evidence, that a flaw in the bilingual/ESL program is responsible for the under-performance of limited-English-speaking secondary students statewide.”

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Posted in Bi-Lingual Education, Civil Rights, Education, Texas Education Agency | Leave a Comment »