HB 5 aims to end "teaching to the test"
Are the days of “teaching to the test” coming to an end in Texas?
That’s one of the primary topics addressed in bill now being discussed by the House Public Education Committee. Representative Jimmie Don Aycock who chairs the committee and authored the bill, says there is currently too much emphasis placed on testing.
One key aspect of the measure would reduce the number of “end-of-course” exams from 15 to 5. Dr. David Anthony, CEO of the education advocacy group Raise Your Hand Texas, says the move is closer to the national average.
Linda Yeager is a board member of Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment and says she would like to see even fewer end-of-course exams. Yeager suggests two or three, though she says her organization does strongly support most of the elements in HB 5.
The bill also makes changes to graduation requirements by creating a single Foundation plan for all students that require 24 credits to graduate. The bill also creates more Career and Technology Education courses.
That flexibility is something that Joe Arnold, Government Affairs Advisor for BASF, says is badly needed. Arnold says he doesn't have qualified people to replace craftsman and technicians. An HB 5 will help give trade skills to high school students. He says the changes proposed in HB 5 will give graduating seniors more choices than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.