STAAR Test results will not factor in 2012 school grades

State Rep. Rene Oliveira

The Texas Education Commissioner bowed to pressure from state lawmakers, including some from the Valley, to delay a requirement that would make the new STAAR test 15 percent of a student's overall grade in core classes.

The new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) has high stakes and this is the first year school implement it since doing away with the controversial TAKS test.

Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Robert Scott proposed making the test results worth 15 percent of a high school student's final grade in core areas like math, science, English and history.

But State Rep. Rene Oliveira said the requirement should not be implemented the very first year.

"Many districts are doing this with less teachers, less staff and less resources generally to prepare for a new test," he said.

Rep. Oliveira is one of several legislators that sent a letter of opposition to Commissioner Scott, asking him to put off the requirement.

"I'm excited to hear that the commissioner listened to our request, he added. I think the vast majority of the legislature was in agreement to defer this and it TMs good for the kids."

Oliveira's main concern is that Valley students were not prepared, especially those with limited English proficiency and those from poor families.

"We can get them ready for this test but we got to put our money where out mouth is, he concluded. If we're going to ask teachers, administrators and students to step up to this new tough test, let TMs give them the resources."

Oliveira said this past legislative session cuts to education totaled $5.6 billion, and that more cuts next session would make the STAAR test an unfair demand.

The TEA hopes that by making the STAAR test results part of a student TMs final grade will force them to take the test more seriously.

Lawmakers like Rep. Oliveira said it makes more sense to enforce the test next year so that schools have more time to implement it.