King files bill to give flexibility on testing

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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State Rep. Phil King, whose district includes Wise County, has filed H.B. 290 to allow school districts to have “options and flexibility” in testing students.

The bill was due to be heard Tuesday in a public hearing in the House Committee on Public Education.

Under the bill, he said, “Schools would have the ability to select an assessment test that best fits their unique community.”

In filing the bill, King expressed his frustration with high-stakes testing and the public education system’s test-driven accountability system. Quoting former Education Commissioner Robert Scott, he said testing has become “a perversion of its original intent” and said “the heavy emphasis on testing as a measure of success in Texas public schools is failing our students.

“There is a better way to measure teacher, school, and student accomplishments than to have an education based primarily on testing,” King stated, “We must relieve districts of these burdensome mandates so schools can transition over to student-centered education. This will not only help school districts to manage their budget in tough economic times, but it will allow our students to receive a high-quality education where they will become more competitive and prepared.”

King said there is a time and place for testing, but added that “it was never meant to be the main focus of our children’s education.

“Educators need to be given the flexibility to apply a range of learning experiences for our students to create high-quality education that is a well-rounded experience for all students,” he said.

King said he has a strong belief that local school boards and superintendents should have the ability to manage their funds and programs in a manner that best fits their community – and that history proves that local control remains the best system for managing education.

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