Survey: Most unhappy with STAAR exam

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Problems surrounding the state’s assessment test known as the STAAR exam are echoed by a public survey issued by the State Board of Education.

The survey became available for the public to fill out at the beginning of June in an effort to gather feedback on feelings surrounding the test so a recommendation can be made to lawmakers in September prior to the next legislative session in 2017.

So far 47,000 people including educators, parents, and business leaders have done it and overwhelmingly the responses show most are unhappy. The Chair of the State Board of Education said most want a test that is more meaningful and can provide information on a child’s gaps in learning and can demonstrate growth.

“They believe we have too many tests, schools are spending too much time preparing for the state assessments, too much class time working on the preparation. They want shorter tests, more timely tests,” says Donna Bahorich, Chair, State Board of Education.

While problems with the exam have been ongoing – the most recent was two weeks ago when the Texas Education Agency told all school districts not to issue the test this summer because the new vendor, Educational Testing Services, repeatedly failed to do its job. Back in March, a computer glitch impacted more than 14,000 tests across the state however the vendor says it has recovered most of the lost answers. State officials notified school districts to choose whether it wanted to re-test students.

The public survey will be available until midnight Thursday. Officials say it takes about 20 minutes to fill out. It’s not clear at this point if lawmakers are going to drop the STAAR exam or request changes.

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