3:42 pm CST - November 29, 2012
Posted under Quotes
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – “This week we received the excellent news that our state’s graduation rate ties for the nation’s 3rd best. As you know, this accomplishment did not happen by accident, nor did it happen overnight,” said Gov. Rick Perry today, while sending a letter to Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams asking him to defer until the 2013-14 school year the requirement that an End-of-Course Assessment count as 15% of a student’s final course grade.
The governor also applauded Sen. Dan Patrick for filing legislation to give school districts permanent flexibility.
Read Perry’s letter, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s comments, and further details of Sen. Patrick’s efforts here.
“The state of Texas has set the bar for a standard of excellence and our school districts, teachers, parents and students have worked together to meet the challenges of our rigorous standards,” Gov. Perry said in his letter.
“While we must continue to adhere to our state’s accountability system, we must also recognize the importance of local control. That is why I am asking you to defer until the 2013-14 school year the requirement that an End-of-Course Assessment count as 15% of a student’s final course grade,” Perry said.
Additionally, Perry applauded the Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick’s filing of legislation to permanently make the 15 % grade provision a local option for school districts, citing the importance of giving them the discretion to enact changes at a level and pace that is right for them.
Perry said he is committed to working with Sen. Patrick (R-Houston) and lawmakers to making flexibility permanent.
“This is about local control. The school districts, and the parents, should have a voice on whether the end of course exams should count towards a student’s final grade,” said Sen. Patrick.
“Allowing school districts to make this decision will return more local control to our school districts,” Patrick said.
Students will still need to pass a series of statewide standard tests to graduate. Districts can choose to use the End-of-Course (EOC) exam as their final this year or anytime in the future. However, they will not be required to do so under SB135.
“The hundreds of superintendents and scores of parents I have talked with want their districts to have a choice, and parents to have a voice, on whether the EOC exam should also count as a final exam grade in addition to having to pass the test. I believe in more choice for districts and parents,” said Patrick.
Patrick also joined Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in writing a letter to Commissioner Michael Williams seeking to defer the implementation of the requirement that a student’s End-of-Course (EOC) exam grade count as 15% of the student’s final course grade.
“Today I sent a letter, also signed by Senator Dan Patrick, to Commissioner Williams indicating my support for modifying the transition plan to defer implementation of the 15% grading requirement related to STAAR end-of-course exams for the 2012-13 school year.” said Dewhurst.
“SB 135, which will resolve this issue moving forward, gives school districts the option to use the STAAR end-of-course exam as 15% of a student’s final grade in a course, and brings us one step closer to returning local control.
“Texas’ education system depends on promoting accountability in coursework and testing. We must challenge our students not only to prepare them for post-secondary success, but also to invest in the future success of Texas.”
“Even before I became the Senate Chair of Education it was clear the 15% issue was a major source of frustration for districts, teachers, parents and students. It’s important to once again delay the 15% requirement until the legislature addresses this issue next session,” said Patrick.
In the coming weeks, Patrick said he will unveil broad based legislation on accountability, choice, career, and technology.
“Reform is an ongoing process and success is never final,” said Patrick. “My priority will continue to focus on higher standards, accountability, and rigor,” added Patrick.
To read Gov. Perry’s letter to Commissioner Williams, visit http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/O-WilliamsMichael20121129_(2).pdf.