Midland, Ector ISD React to Decision by Texas Senate to Overhaul - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland, Ector ISD React to Decision by Texas Senate to Overhaul State's High School Curriculum

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA -  On Monday, the Texas Senate unanimously approved a major overhaul to the state's high school curriculum.

The change, which still needs house approval, reduces the number of standardized tests a student must pass in order to graduate.

The curriculum overhaul reduced the number of standardized tests from 15 to five. According to MISD Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren, this change was long overdue.
     
"Right now, everything is geared just for the children to pass that test at the end of the school year. We have to shift that focus to what it used to be, just good solid teaching, the teaching of the curriculum," Warren said.  

According to Warren, the state is aware that giving so many tests to students is not helping them.

As a matter of fact, it has not helped prepare many of them for a post-high school education.

"Number one, we gotta make sure our kids are either ready for college or ready for a career, so that's what we are going to be pattering our program to be able to do. Then try to get the teachers to quit stressing and the kids to quit stressing so much about these tests and just concentrate on good solid teaching and learning in the classrooms," Warren said.  

ECISD Testing Coordinator, Tommie Robinson, says the change comes after not only getting complaints from teachers but parents as well who felt students were moving backward instead of moving forward.    

"There was an outcry by educators and by parents that we had moved too far in the opposite direction from testing and having alot of tests that students had to pass," Robinson said. 
     
Robinson says although the number of tests will be cut down by two-thirds, educators will still maintain the rigor in the classroom while measuring the knowledge of the student. She adds that students will still be tested on the fundamental subjects. 

"It will just be five tests which will include Biology, Algebra I, English I & II and U.S. History," Robinson said. 

Robinson says reducing the number of tests will help a student achieve a higher education either at a college or vocational level. 

"By reducing the number of tests, it helps move the focus from preparing to test and how to pass the test to how to strictly focus on the education what we need to kids to learn and know when they come out of high school. It allows us to increase our focus there and decrease our focus on state assessments," Robinson said. 

If Senate Bill five is signed by the Governor it will go in effect this coming school year.
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