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State accountability system could change again

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Texas - As early as today, lawmakers will begin considering bills that aim to better meet the needs of students in Texas.

Although last week the Texas Education Commissioner released details about what the new school accountability system might look like,  he also acknowledged that the legislature is considering several bills that would make additional changes.

Several bills under consideration by the legislature would sharply reduce the number of STAAR tests students must take.

Another bill takes a direct shot at the Texas Education Agency and at Pearson, the company that produces the STAAR exams.

House bill 2836 would require that the tests be checked for validity by "an entity that is independent of the agency."

The old accountability system assigned a single rating for every school and district: exemplary, recognized, academically acceptable, or academically unacceptable.

In 2011, more than 20 schools in the Texas Panhandle were rated academically unacceptable.

The new system aims to focus on the performance of all students in the school or district, without looking at race, ethnicity and economic sub-groups as factors.

As well as not allow one problem area to drag down the entire rating for a school or district.

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