Texas Senators have harsh words for STAAR

Complaints about standardized testing could lead to changes

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Members of the state Senate Education Committee are spending hours maligning Texas' standardized testing system -- and talking openly about ways to reform it.

During a crowded hearing Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans alike asked pointed questions of state education officials about the exam known as the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR.

They asked everything from why so many high school students have failed it, to whether it's appropriate for youngsters in sun-kissed South Texas to answer math problems about the possibility of frost forming on their sidewalks.

Teachers, parents and community activists also lined up to complain about STAAR.

Committee chairman and Houston Republican Dan Patrick called standardized testing the Legislature's top issue this session and promised that changes to STAAR would be coming.


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