Texas Education Chief Weighs in on Testing Debate

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told lawmakers Tuesday that he thinks the appropriate number of mandatory end-of-course exams for high schools students is between eight and 10.

Most Texas students now have to pass 15 exams under state law.

Williams, addressing the House Public Education Committee, said that to determine the right number of tests, he thinks officials should consider which courses students need to show mastery to be considered college-ready. Williams suggested the list would include these eight: 11th-grade reading and writing, algebra I and geometry; biology and at least one other science; and U.S. history and world geography or world history.

“I would urge us to remember that we treasure what we measure. You do it in your business,” Williams told lawmakers. “And what gets tested does indeed get taught.”

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