Bexar County school districts take stand against high-stakes testing

April 19, 2012

All 15 school districts in Bexar County are on the same page when it comes to high-stakes standardized testing.

The superintendents of every Bexar County school district, including NISD Superintendent John Folks, recently signed a joint letter to the Texas Legislature, asking elected officials to reduce emphasis on standardized testing.

“The skills of the 21st Century include the ability to collaborate effectively, solve real problems in real time, think critically and analytically, be creative and innovative, have strong work ethic and character, give effective presentations, develop polished products, effectively use technology and think deeply,” the letter states. “However, the current accountability system does not measure any of those attributes. Tests are strangling our children and our teachers, driving out the love of learning and the joy of teaching.”

The letter asks legislators to consider a roadmap for the transformation of public education, developed over two years by 35 Texas superintendents, including Dr. Folks, through the Texas Association of School Administrators.

“‘Creating a New Vision for Public Education’ lays the groundwork for an education system that spurs innovation, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration and fosters a love of learning,” the letter states. “This vision acknowledges the need for accountability but gives districts the chance to design a new assessment system that is a more accurate portrayal of what’s going on in the classroom, and measures the skills that are important for a 21st Century education.”

The Northside ISD Board of Trustees also recently unanimously approved a resolution that denounces the overemphasis on standardized testing. So far, 344 school boards across the state have signed the resolution.