Texas Parents Call State’s Tests ‘a Stinking Mess’

Courtney Williams's picture
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Some Texas school parents are fed up with the state’s focus on high-stakes testing.

Edy Chamness, an Austin parent of a fourth grade student, told a State Board of Education committee Wednesday that she was “so disgusted” that she formed a Texas chapter for the United Opt Out Movement, which aims to end punitive testing of children.

Her son had to endure 40 hours of test-taking practice and another 16 hours of actual testing.

“These tests are a horrible waste of taxpayer money, instruction time and teacher energy that could otherwise be used to educate our children and involve them in meaningful and enriching learning,” Chamness, a former school teacher, told the board’s instruction committee.

Chamness said school teachers tell her they are “actively discouraged from teaching any material that is not on the test.”

She lamented that her child “will be in college before the state of Texas fixes this stinking mess of a system that gives millions of dollars to (testing company) Pearson, while simultaneously laying off our teachers and overcrowding classrooms.”

Board member George Clayton, R-Dallas complained that many elective classes, such as fine arts, and “some of our language classes go away in deference to remediation for the tests. That needs to stop.”

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