NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

School Leaders Pursue Enhanced STAAR Test

Christine Pollock
The STAAR is the state's new standardized test every kid must take. But some school leaders argue it needs to be enhanced with other assessment measures to better serve kids and families.

A group of educators meeting in Dallas says there’s got to be a better way to evaluate kids than the state’s new STAAR test.

Dr. Dawson Orr is Highland Park’s Superintendent. His district is one of twenty-three in the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium. 

“You know, there’s just an awful lot of authentic work that goes on in classrooms that represents student learning that state and federal bureaucracies don’t know how to handle because they need the ease and convenience of a multiple choice test."

Orr says consortium members don’t’ want out of the STAAR test, but education is too complex, and the STAAR test too simplistic, to rely on by itself.

So the consortium is working on a more comprehensive way to measure schools and students that he says is less constraining. It will invite other districts to join the effort, and may propose tweaking the STAAR plan in the next legislative session. A similar effort last session passed the House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Perry.


Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.