Skip to main content

The Brief: Panel Doesn’t Recommend Scrapping STAAR Tests

The panel will present a final report with non-binding recommendations on what do with the controversial student assessments in time for next year's legislative session.

Andrew Kim, Chair of Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability

The Big Conversation

The special panel tasked with recommending changes to Texas’ testing system has backed away from suggesting that the state scrap its controversial STAAR assessments and replace them with other computer-based exams.

As the Tribune’s Kiah Collier reports, the panel decided in a 9-1 vote Wednesday to “recommend that state lawmakers implement a series of individualized, computer-based exams to measure student performance and progress throughout the year,” but will not call for those tests to “replace the current STAAR assessment program,” as a draft report previously did.

The group’s recommendations are not binding, and members are “charged with producing a final report by Sept. 1, five months before lawmakers reconvene in Austin to take up the issue,” Collier writes.

“I don’t think any of us is recommending getting rid of STAAR tomorrow,” said Andrew Kim, the panel’s chairman.

Trib Must Reads

Latino Voters Sue to Bolster Influence on Electing Judges, by Jim Malewitz — Seeking to bolster their chronically sparse representation on the state's highest courts, seven Latino voters are suing Texas to challenge the state's longtime method of electing judges statewide.

Report Finds Almost 7,000 In-Custody Deaths in Texas, by Johnathan Silver — Almost 7,000 individuals in Texas have died in police custody or behind bars over the last 10 years, according to an online report released Wednesday by a University of Texas at Austin research institute. Nearly 2,000 of them had not been convicted of a crime.

Jackson Lee Rallies Democrats Against "Man of Fear" Trump, by Patrick Svitek — U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston rallied fellow Democrats against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling him a "man of fear" in a speech to the Democratic National Convention.

Thanking Texas Delegates, Sanders Warns of Trump, by Patrick Svitek — Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday morning used a thank-you speech to Texas delegates to sound the alarm about the Republican foe his party's nominee now faces: Donald Trump.

Rick Perry's Digital Legacy Gives Texas Archivists New Momentum, by Isabelle Taft — Two years ago, Texas had made no progress archiving its electronic records. With the launch this year of the Texas Digital Archive — and the release of seven terabytes of Rick Perry's digital legacy — Texas has become a national leader.

Evoking Charles Whitman: The UT Tower Shooting in Film, by Madeline Conway and Rodney Gibbs — The University of Texas Tower shooting was a first of its kind. Here’s how the tragedy has been depicted in film and TV.

News From Home

•    Will Texans vote in November? Join us in August for a civic social weekend. The Texas Tribune is teaming up with the Society of News Design — and collaborators like you — to examine Texas’s low voter turnout rates, and what can be done to better engage and inform voters. Registration is free, but space is limited. See our event listing now to apply.

•    We're hiring. After nearly seven years of successful storytelling we’re considered the gold standard in nonprofit news, and we need you on our engineering team to help us refine and perfect our story-building process. For more details and requirements, click here.

Elsewhere

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Will Texas Republicans dislike Clinton as much as they dislike Obama?Austin American-Statesman

Hillary Clinton’s Texas ties run deep, Austin American-Statesman

Gift to Paxton violated attorney general office's rules, documents show, The Associated Press

Sanders launches organization to boost 'Bernie' candidates in TexasHouston Chronicle

Gun Violence and Mental Health, 50 Years After UT Tower Sniper Attack, KERA

San Antonio commission approves comprehensive plan despite neighborhood opposition, San Antonio Express-News

Austin officials fumbled 4 chances to address Breaion King case, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

“Fair to say, this is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice – about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.” 

— President Barack Obama, in his Wednesday night address to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Today in TribTalk

"Conscientious" vaccine exemptions are anything but, by Anna C. Dragsbaek — There is nothing conscientious about rejecting vaccines for non-medical reasons.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   Life on the Border: Rhetoric or Reality? on Aug. 4 at The Centennial Club in McAllen

•   A Conversation with state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and state Reps. Terry Canales and Bobby Guerra on Aug. 26 at UT Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg

•   The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

Readers like you make our journalism possible.

Give now