Senators turn sights on wayward STAAR


A Texas Senate education panel spent hours Tuesday maligning the state’s standardized testing system, even questioning whether it’s appropriate to ask youngsters across sun-kissed South Texas math problems involving the possibility of frost forming on sidewalks.

By the end of the Senate Education Committee meeting, it seemed the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, stood only a snowball’s chance in Brownsville of surviving the legislative session without a major overhaul.

Testing “is the most important issue in front of us this session,” said Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who chairs the committee. “We’re obviously going to go back and make some changes.”

Passed in 2009, STAAR has sparked heavy criticism since students began actually taking, and in many cases failing, the tests last school year.

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