Email, Ellen Troxclair, chief of staff, Rep. Jason Isaac, Sept. 10, 2013
As stated in the same paragraph of Rep. Isaac's update "because of federal mandates, the state must seek and be granted a waiver from the federal government in order for these changes to take place." At the time the newsletter was sent out, TEA did not yet know the outcome of the state's waiver request. As you might have seen yesterday, TEA announced that the USDE unfortunately did not grant the waiver that would have allowed the testing reductions outlined in HB 866.
According to the HRO report, the bill that was heard in the House would have reduced the number of tests from 17 to 8 for students who meet certain performance thresholds. We understand that changes were made by the time it passed the Senate that would have reduced the number of tests from 17 to 11. The fact remains that had the waiver been granted, the bill would have significantly reduced the number of tests for many students. As a consistent advocate for reducing standardized testing, Rep. Isaac supported the reduction to 8 tests, but would have been happy with any relief permitted by the federal government.
Unfortunately, because the USDE did not grant the waiver, students will continue to take 17 tests in grades 3-8. Rep. Isaac remains hopeful that the federal government will allow Texas school children the same flexibility that other states have received when it comes to the burdensome provisions of No Child Left Behind.
Chief of Staff
Rep. Jason Isaac