A coalition of Texas business leaders announced Wednesday that it would oppose future hikes in education funding if Texas officials weaken standardized testing standards, a step the group contends would hurt the state's efforts to hold public schools more accountable.
The Texas Coalition for a Competitive Workforce blamed teachers and school administrators for "demonizing" standardized testing and panicking parents about exams such as STAAR, which was administered statewide for the first time this year.
"They've gone about scaring mom. They've told mom that Johnny is not going to UT because of the end of course exam," Bill Hammond, president of the influential Texas Association of Business, said during a news conference at the state Capitol. He was referring to the University of Texas.
Hammond said superintendents are so worried that their schools will be shown to have poorly prepared students for exams that "they have built a firestorm across the state."