Katy ISD Board passes resolution calling for repeal of state high-stakes testing

The Katy ISD Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution supporting legislation calling for the elimination of state mandated high-stakes testing at its regular meeting Monday, March 30.

Though local school boards do not have authority concerning the administration of state-mandated testing, the board has thrown their support behind several bills introduced by legislators in the Texas 84th Legislative Session that would eliminate the tests.

If passed, tests mandated by federal legislation such as No Child Left Behind would still be used.

KISD board of trustees vice president Henry Dibrell said at the meeting that if the legislation is passed it would enable teachers within KISD and across the state to have more instruction time.

"All of our students test very well [on state mandated tests]," Dibrell said at Monday's board meeting. "We hear year after year how well our students do on these standardized tests, but we lose so much instructional time because we test every kid every year regardless of their scores the previous year."

The resolution also calls for state-funded local assessments in lieu of the high-stakes tests it hopes to repeal. If enacted, these local assessments would provide detailed diagnostics that could assist students in their learning, but they would not be considered high-stakes or have any bearing on school board accountability ratings, said Bryan Michalsky, KISD Board of Trustees President.

"In the beginning, the whole accountability system was intended to be a diagnostic so that no child would graduate with deficiencies," Michalsky said at the meeting. "Somewhere along the way they attached an accountability rating and [the tests] got away from assessing and diagnosing to playing a game."

The passing of the resolution is only the first step in getting legislation on the matter passed, said Joe Adams, KISD Board of Trustees member.

"We cannot just adopt this resolution and send to Austin in the hope that some would do something about it," Adams said during the meeting. "Each and everyone of us has to make calls, and write letters and go to Austin and testify to the House Education Committee about this matter."