Note: Check out this report out of the Tx State Comptroller's Office, January 2005
Drawing the most emotive response (in the minority reports) was the following, very interesting recommendation provided by the Alternative Calendars sub-committee:
Date of Standardized Tests. The standardized tests that are offered in the spring of a student's third, fifth, eighth, and eleventh years should be moved to the third or fourth weeks of September in years four, six, nine, and twelve. This will permit the state to have a better measure of student's long-term knowledge. It will reduce the tendency of teachers to focus their attention on teaching material only for the examinations and it could serve as a diagnostic/prescriptive assessment to improve long-term learning. The current standard should remain in place for three to five years before it is changed in order to give teachers the opportunity to realize the progress. The entire assessment program for Texas will need to be examined to consider campus accountability ratings and other standards in the No Child Left Behind Federal Law.
I was a member of this task force and a good number of concerns were raised about the amount of time that testing and test prep consumes. -Angela
For entire report, go to: http://www.window.state.tx.us/schoolstart2004/taskforce/report/