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Commission on Next-Gen Assessment / Accountability Votes on Final Recommendations
Preparation of the ReportPrior to the meeting TEA composed a draft report of recommendations from the group’s previous discussions. Commission members had the opportunity to submit edits and recommend changes to the report prior to the final meeting. Commission Chairman Andrew Kim, superintendent of Comal ISD, said the group would review each of the 14 recommendations in the draft report along with any accompanying edits suggested by members but would not make any substantive changes. Chairman Kim said there would be one vote at the end of the day on whether or not to approve the report in its entirety.
Chairman Kim also stated that there would be an appendix that would contain all recommendations not included in final report and asked that each member prepare a 200-word philosophy statement to be included as well.
Adoption of the ReportAt the end of the meeting, the report was adopted with a 9-to-1 vote. Dr. Theresa Trevino, president of the Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA), said that even though she agreed with some of the recommendations she voted “no” because parents would not support a next-generation assessment program that continues to have high stakes for children (grade advancement requirements for students in grades 5 and 8, and passage of five end-of-course exams in order to graduate).
Although the group removed a sentence that would have called for the entire STAAR system to be replaced, the recommendations — compiled by the commission, which had limited opportunities to meet — should improve the current system and inch the state forward. Although the exact wording of the final report is not yet known, discussions that indicate the direction of the final recommendations are summarized as follows:
1. Implement an individualized, integrated system of multiple assessments using computerized, adaptive testing and instruction.
Considerations for Further StudyThe commission members discussed five recommendations for future study. Alexander asked that language specifically referencing collaboration with the THPSC be added to a study on community-based accountability systems and another study on stratified random sampling as the THPSC has its continuing legislative charge to explore the development of innovative, next-generation learning standards and assessment and accountability systems.
Next Steps for the Final ReportThe commission’s final report is due to the governor and Legislature by September 1, 2016. TASA will advise its members when the final report is available.