Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Clearing up confusion between resolution and 15 percent deferment

As districts have been notifying TASA of their support of the Resolution Concerning High Stakes, Standardized Testing of Texas Public School Students, it has become evident that there’s some confusion between this resolution and districts’ decisions regarding the deferment of the 15 percent rule.

To be clear, the resolution drafted by TASA is a philosophical statement that, among other things, challenges the notion that standardized testing should be the single measure of a district and endorses more engaging student learning experiences. As of Wednesday afternoon, 271 districts had passed the resolution. It has also been endorsed by at least one chamber of commerce, a school board in Queens, New York, and sparked national attention, including coverage from the Washington Post. Our goal is to draw attention to the transformation that needs to happen in Texas public schools and to speak with a clear and unified voice to Texas lawmakers about the concerns - not just of educators but also business leaders, parents and students – regarding the current accountability system.

The 15 percent deferment is a Texas Education Agency matter and districts that want to take advantage of it must notify the agency by May 1. As of Wednesday, TEA had heard from 788 districts.

Commissioner Robert Scott announced in February that for the 2011-2012 school year only school districts can defer implementation of the statutory provision that requires performance on an end-of-course (EOC) assessment to count as 15 percent of a student’s final course grade. No board action is required. The superintendent or another district-level administrator authorized by the superintendent only needs to notify TEA of the district’s decision by May 1, 2012 by sending a brief email to the commissioner at: at:

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