, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

March 5, 2013

Bill targets 'teaching to test'


Representative Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont) has filed House Bill 1423, a bill that would facilitate a number of changes in the educational system if passed.

Over the past year and a half, I have listened to the concerns of parents, students and educators about our public school’s broken accountability system,” Deshotel said in a statement he released in support of HB 1423. “This bill maintains rigor and accountability while expanding the number of pathways to graduation for high school students. The elimination of ‘teaching to the test’ and giving more options to students should decrease our dropout rate and increase workforce readiness.”

The bill has garnered the support of local administrators.

The Port Arthur Independent School District is supportive of HB 1423 to end high-stakes testing, while maintaining that we are cognizant of the fact that school districts must be accountable for the academic success of all students,” said PAISD deputy superintendent Mark Porterie. “We also support Rep. Joe Deshotel’s key points regarding HB1423 while recognizing that districts must maintain rigor and accountability while expanding the number of pathways to graduation for high school students. When we study the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards, we see where the state is moving to more pathways to ensure all students’ success.”

If passed, HB 1423 would redefine higher education as four-year universities, two-year colleges and technical schools, as well as requiring high school guidance counselors to provide students with information regarding post-secondary opportunities in all higher education. School districts would be authorized to use high school allotment funding for workforce readiness programs, and the Texas Education Agency would adopt nationally recognized, norm-reference tests consistent with the requirements of No Child Left Behind for students in grades 3-8.

Rep. Deshotel has really looked at and listened to what educators and community leaders from across the state are saying,” said Bridge City Independent School District superintendent Mike King. “His bill gives us flexibility both in graduation plans and cuts down on the amount of testing that is required. School districts are not afraid of accountability. We hold our kids accountable every day. But let’s get an accountability system that looks at the broad range of what it takes to educate kids.”

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