Senate passes STARR reform bill

Leanne Haas, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Stressed out about the end-of-course exams the school just wrapped up? Don’t be.

As the second year of the EOC testing period comes to an end, freshmen and sophomores can let out a sigh of relief.

The STAAR tests have been a pretty heavy weight for underclassmen, with the threat to determine success or failure in a class, an obstacle to graduation, not to mention the fact that the test covered a lot more material than the previous TAKS test.

But recent changes in the state legislature could mean significant changes to the tests, dropping the 15 required EOC tests to just five.

Beyond this, House Bill 5 also eliminates the power the test has over a student’s grade; it can currently count as 15 percent.

“It’s better that they won’t be counting the test as 15 percent of my grade, because they make it so hard that I’m afraid I can’t pass my class.” said sophomore Rebekah Neidigk.

But the bill doesn’t just alleviate strain from standardized testing, but curriculum as well. The bill could eliminate Algebra II from the graduation requirement.

“I think eliminating the requirement will be fine,” Algebra II teacher Sherri St. Germain said, “As long as there is an underlying class to replace it.”

Nothing is final yet, until a final measure gets Rick Perry’s signature. But big changes in testing and graduation requirements are coming.