Design Flaw Suspected In Texas Standardized Tests

In 2006, a math pilot program for middle school students in a Dallas-area district returned surprising results.

The students’ improved grasp of mathematical concepts stunned Walter Stroup, the University of Texas at Austin professor behind the program at Richardson Independent School District. But at the end of the year, students’ scores had increased only marginally on state standardized TAKS tests, unlike what Stroup had seen in the classroom.

A similar dynamic showed up in a comparison of the students’ scores on midyear benchmark tests and what they received on their end-of-year exams. Standardized test scores the previous year were better ...

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