This article discusses the “softening” or lessening the importance of standardized testing in regards to grading. This article is specifically centered around the state of Texas and the fight against the infamous “15 percent rule” along with the STAAR exam. The “15 percent rule” is a rule in which the end-of-course exams must count as 15 percent of a student’s final grade in some core subjects. The STAAR exam is a test that they use to account for this 15 percent. People are fearful that doing poorly on the STAAR exam could hurt grades and make Texas students less attractive to university admissions boards. There have been attempts to get of this rule, but not until recently, there have been some positive reassurances such as the ninth graders being exempt from the rule. Texas governor Rick Perry is being supported by both Republicans and Democrats alike, and parents in trying to abolish this rule. Local businesses are not pleased with this decision, for they feel now their potential workers will not be as “educated”. Perry’s reasoning behind this bill of abolishment is as he states, “While we must continue to adhere to our state’s accountability system, we must also recognize the importance of local control”.
We feel that standardized testing is becoming a little too out of control. Yes final exams should be given to students, but should be included in the grading as equal as any other exam in the course. Having a final exam weigh so much of an individual’s grade, it can make or break one’s grade, despite wether they worked extremely hard or not.
Testing is definitely a necessity in order to evaluate the progress of the student over the course, but grades should not be limited to solely test scores.