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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.

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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

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•   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

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