Amendment to HB 5 Caps Benchmark Exams
Austin - Today State Representative Mike Villarreal passed an amendment to House Bill 5 to limit local benchmark tests in Texas schools. The amendment prohibits school districts from conducting more than two benchmark tests for each state test.
"I want our teachers to spend more time teaching and our children to spend more time learning," said Rep. Villarreal. "Testing has a role to play in our schools, but we need to put limits in place. In too many schools an overemphasis on testing has created a culture of regulatory compliance rather than one of exploration, curiosity or creativity."
School districts currently give students benchmark exams to simulate the experience of taking state tests and measure students' progress in preparing for the state tests. Some school districts surveyed by Rep. Villarreal dedicate more than 40 days of the 180-day school year to taking standardized exams in preparation for state required exams. Rep. Villarreal's amendment allows schools to continue to prepare students for the tests but prevents the excessive use of practice tests that is all too common in Texas schools today.
House Bill 5, the legislation Rep. Villarreal amended, reduces the number of state tests in high school from 15 to five and takes other steps to reduce the emphasis on testing, change the school ratings system, and modernize high school graduation requirements. The bill passed the House on a vote of 145 to 2. A House-Senate conference committee will likely meet to work out the differences between the two chambers' testing bills.
Contact: Peter Clark
Room 4S.6, Capitol
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
922 S. Alamo St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 734-0356 Fax