AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) - New Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced to a room full of testing administrators that he would defer the so-called 15 percent rule for a second year, drawing a standing ovation.
"We're not trying to pat ourselves on the back," said Williams. "We're trying to do what we think is the right thing for kids and moms and dads."
Williams signed the waiver making it official while speaking Friday at a statewide assessment conference in Austin.
Someone in the crowd shouted, "What's next?"
Williams answered, "Hey, I've only been here twelve weeks. Give a brother some time."
The move came one day after top state leaders, including Governor Rick Perry, sent Williams letters asking him to postpone the rule for the additional year. The 15 percent rule requires schools to use scores on end-of-course as 15 percent of a student's final grade. Sen. Dan Patrick, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, has filed a bill to make the inclusion of the test score in a final grade a local option.
The vast majority of school districts have deferred the rule this year. Last year, 1,130 of the state's 1,245 districts and charters deferred the 15 percent provision.
Texas' new accountability system requires high school students to take 15 end-of-course tests in the first three years of high school. Students must achieve a cumulative score to graduate from high school.
Williams, a former Texas Railroad Commissioner, assumed the job of education commissioner in September.
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