Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Keep TAKS But Make it Tougher, Dewhurst Says

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Monday that he does not think the state should replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills in high schools this year with a series of end-of-course exams.

A major education bill endorsed earlier this month by the leaders of the House would require students to pass state tests at the end of their courses to graduate, instead of passing the 11th-grade TAKS. House leaders also want to phase out the TAKS in grades nine and 10 to make room for the end-of-course tests.

"Right now we need to focus on raising our performance criteria on the test," Dewhurst said. "We just started this new test. Let's not scrap it today."

This is the third year that Texas schools will give the TAKS. For most grades, the percentage of correct answers needed to pass has increased each year. The 11th-grade passing standard is increasing as well, but at a slower pace.

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