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East Texas school officials applaud student testing bill

East Texas school officials applaud student testing bill
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POSTED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 9:04am

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 9:05am

Educators from across Northeast Texas cheered a bill Tuesday authored by a West Texas state senator that would drastically reduce state-mandated student testing and change high school graduation requirements.

Senate Bill 225 is the 12th bill introduced that would revamp school testing. Republican Sen. Kel Seliger, who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee, filed the bill Tuesday. It would cut the number of state standardized tests that students must pass to graduate from 15 to five, and would test students solely on reading, writing, biology, algebra I and U.S. history.

SB 225 also would let local school boards decide how much the state exams would count toward graduation. A rule that requires end-of-course exams to count toward 15 percent of students’ final grade is suspended, but it would take effect again next year unless lawmakers change it.

Seliger’s bill would restructure high school graduation plans. The requirement of four years each in math, science, English and social studies would be replaced by a 26-credit Foundation High School Program, which would require students to earn 16 credits in core subjects plus 10 electives. The program would allow students to earn diploma “endorsements” by completing five credits in areas of studies such as humanities, science, engineering, technology and math, or business and industry.

Several area educators applauded the intent of Seliger’s bill, if not the details.

Read the full story here.

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