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Commissioner Addresses Testing Issues, SBOE Hears Testimony on ELAR/SLAR TEKS

04.06.2016 — Wednesday’s SBOE meeting began with Commissioner Mike Morath addressing the board on a variety of subjects from recent studies on the STAAR and TEKS to problems with the March/April STAAR administration. Morath acknowledged that both TEA and the testing vendor, ETS, take responsibility for the issues and expressed concern for the students affected by this negative and stressful testing experience.

In addition, the commissioner stated that financial penalties would be applied to ETS for not meeting contract agreements and that the ETS contract would be reviewed after the May STAAR administration. After a two-hour conversation, the board members expressed appreciation for the commissioner’s input and leadership.

ELAR/SLAR TEKS Review Committees Share Progress With SBOE

Yesterday’s meeting agenda also included a public hearing and discussion of the latest draft of the the ELAR/SLAR TEKS. The board heard hours of public testimony, including an update on the progress of the review committees working on the TEKS drafts.

The English language arts content lead for TASA and the secondary literacy and language arts administrator for Lewisville ISD, Eric Simpson, testified at the public hearing. Simpson’s main points centered on recognizing the recursive nature of English language arts, and on the need to establish expectations that will allow students to continue to build on the processes of reading, writing, and thinking from kindergarten through 12th grade. Simpson also made recommendations that would help the ELAR TEKS revision work group members further streamline the TEKS.