In court, TEA official surprises with new definition of “college ready”

The Texas Education Agency is recommending lowering the threshold for which students it deems “college ready,” a move that somecalled a retreat from the high academic standards laid out in state law.   Gloria Zyskowski, the agency’s director of student assessment, testified at the ongoing school finance trial Monday that the students who meet the “satisfactory” or passing standard on the state’s standardized tests should be considered college ready.

Previously, the agency had said the “advanced” standard on the end-of-course tests amounted to college readiness. Last spring, only 3 percent of the ninth-graders who took the English I exam achieved the advanced standard, though that test is calibrated to demonstrate whether the student is ready for the next course rather than college.  The definition of “college ready” matters because the students who meet that standard do not have to take a placement exam before starting college. That test establishes whether the student needs remediation.

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