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State asks for opinions on student testing

June 20, 2016 GMT

Have an opinion on standardized testing in Texas? Well, the Texas Department of Education wants to hear it.

The state agency has submitted an online survey for citizens to voice their thoughts on how Texas handles education.

The TEA said in a press release, the State Board of Education (SBOE) is issuing a survey in English and Spanish to seek public input about the state’s current assessment and accountability programs and gather suggestions for future program development. The survey will be open online to all Texans through June 30.

The SBOE said from October 2015 to March 2016, the board held nine community conversation meetings around the state, gathering comments about the student assessment and accountability systems.

The online survey is said to address the issues raised during the meetings and allows for input from teachers, parents, students and the entire community.

“Our constituents often talk to board members about testing and school ratings issues,” said SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich. “I felt it was also important for board members to have in-depth discussions to learn what educators, parents, business people and others want from these two high-profile programs. I believe our findings will be useful in shaping the next generation systems.”

The information gathered from the survey and the Community Conversations will be compiled into a report and presented to the SBOE for its consideration at its July 19-22 meeting. Once adopted, the report will be provided to legislative leaders and the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability.

The 15-member commission, created by the Texas Legislature, is to make recommendations for statutory changes to the state’s assessment and accountability systems. The commission report is to be submitted to the governor and legislature by Sept. 1.

The survey is available in English at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2762440/State-Assessments-and-Accountability-Survey and in Spanish at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2851839/Encuesta-de-evaluaciones-y-responsabilidad-educativa-del-estado.

Bahorich encourages Texans to share the link to the surveys to encourage widespread participation.

Comments gathered at each of the Community Conversations are available at

http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Leadership/State_Board_of_Education/SBOE_Meetings/Community_Conversations_about_Assessment_and_Accountability/.

For more information about the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability, visit http://tea.texas.gov/2804Commission.aspx.