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Testing in Texas: An Overview

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By GreatSchools Staff

Gold Performance Acknowledgments (GPA)

The 2007-2008 Gold Performance Acknowledgments (GPA) recognize schools and districts for performance on up to 14 indicators. These indicators include:

  • Commended Performance: Writing - grades 4 and 7 (2008 TAKS results)
  • Commended Performance: Reading/English Language Arts - grades 3 through 11 (2008 TAKS results)
  • Commended Performance: Math - grades 3 through 11 (2008 TAKS results)
  • Commended Performance: Science - grades 5, 8, 10 and 11 (2008 TAKS results)
  • Commended Performance: Social Studies - grades 8, 10 and 11 (2008 TAKS results)
  • Comparable Improvement: Reading/English Language Arts (2007 and 2008 TAKS results)
  • Comparable Improvement: Math (2007 and 2008 TAKS results)
  • Attendance Rate (2006-2007)
  • Recommended High School Program/Distinguished Achievement Program - Class of 2007
  • Advanced Course/Dual Enrollment Completion - grades 9 through 12 (2006-2007)
  • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Results - grades 11 and 12 (2006-2007)
  • SAT/ACT Results (College Admissions Tests) - Class of 2007
  • Texas Success Initiative - Higher Education Readiness Component: English Language Arts - grade 11 (2008)
  • Texas Success Initiative - Higher Education Readiness Component: Math-grade 11 (2008)

How is the GPA determined?

To be considered for the GPA, schools and districts must have a Texas Accountability Rating of Academically Acceptable or higher and must meet the state's acknowledgement criteria on one or more of the indicators listed above. The acknowledgment criteria vary across grade levels for different indicators. For example, the criteria for attendance rates are a minimum of 95% for high schools, 96% for middle schools and 97% for elementary schools. For more information about the acknowledgment criteria for the other indicators, see the Texas Education Agency's 2008 Accountability Manual.

Why do some schools and districts not have acknowledgments?

Some schools and districts lack the data that is needed to calculate acknowledgments. Schools and districts that have not met the state's GPA criteria are not eligible to receive acknowledgments.

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Comments from readers

"This info is outdated, it's now the STAAR test, and it's worse than the TAKS. "
"i think you should removed these task test because you still have kids taking this test they having be able to graduate this is a lot stressed either for the parents and the child and dont think is right."
"I believe the task test is putting these children in a rut. My child has not learned half things I learned when I was in elementary school which is really sad. They have learned how to be stressed on a daily basis. The task test needs to be re-evaluated with surveys from parents and teachers each year,because it is getting to a point of out of control"
"The TAKS test is a joke! If you can't pass the test, you are therefore retarded & should just give up on life. The difficulty of it is elementary compared to the ACT or SAT. It baffles me that someone in Austin thought TAKS was a good litmus test for high school students.."
"I feel that these tests are unless and so stressful for the kids. Teach everything, not just whats on the TAKS test. How is that education?"
"When do we face reality? We have all but destroyed the common teacher. We have decimated the child to a mindless person whom we treat as a number, a statistic, rather a delicate mind we wish to educate. How has this come to pass? Well, at first, we wanted to insure teachers were providing sound education to our children, so a decision was made to test the proficiency to the teacher, however, this was deem demoralizing and many just plain resisted for one reason or another. The powers of Austin, then came up with the ideal of testing the children to see if they had retained the information provided. From there children were tested for all sorts of material. Doomed to failure, testing continues and it destroys children in the nature of dropping out about the 9th or 10th grade. As long as we continue this path, we will lose more children. We have taken away from the prime educator that ability to know their student. That prime responsibity of telling the parent if tha! t child goes on to the next grade in not made by that teacher rather its made by a retention all encompassing test. Children now are even getting symtoms of stress beyond comprehension yet in the name of keeping high paying educators employed, we sacarfice our children. We need to return the responsibilities of pass/fail to that first-line classroom educator, the teacher. We need to stop testing our children at the 11th grade to see if they have retained all that was taught to them in previous grades. Bottom line, we need to stop all the testing and let children have recess and become creative once more. "
"I think the TAKS tests are totally useless. All you are doing is teaching how to pass the test. What good is that. I just got a letter from my child's math teacher saying that there will be no math book this year. Seems they don't need one because they will only be teaching them what they need to know to pass the TAKS test. This is ridiculous. I am so upset. I have not spoken to anyone, including teachers that agrees with this method of teaching. Let's put a stop is nonsense."
"I don't understand why we look at our children s future to be better if they do a great job on TAKS tests. You can be a great test taker and not be able to make it in the world. I was a horrible test taker growing up, but did better in verbal testing. I surpassed people in the corporate world because they couldn't speak a coherent sentence. But you are telling me that my child has to stress over a test that really has no meaning on what the future holds for them. I agree with the last parent that we need to stop this and teach our children EVERYTHING in school, not just what is on a test!!!!!!!!"
"I have not met one person, whether it be parent or teacher who agrees with the TAKS testing. What is it going to take to stop this demeaning way of teaching and testing? Too many families are stressed to the limit and with economy on a downward spiral someone somewhere is going to stand up and shout 'ENOUGH!' And I can hardly wait to join in with that shout. I wish we knew who the person was that dreamed this whole thing up, he/she needs to open their eyes and see the destruction they caused in school systems across America!"
"They actually do take the test in Austin."
"If my district in Texas has a High School that is rated unacceptable does the State pay for tuition for my child to attend a charter school? If so how do I get funding. My child is currently enrolled in charter school through University of Texas online program and I am finding it hard to meet the financial needs."
" Are these standard tougher than the standards for CAlifornia school? The reason I am asking is, I have 2 sons, 1st and 6th grade that I want to move here with me to Arlngton, TX (Mansfield School District) and I want to show in court that the educational standards here in Texas are much higher."
"I think the TASK test is ridiculous that you actually teach the test so the school gets a good grade. If the teachers actually taught our students they should be able to pass it on their own. However if they are straight A Honor roll students have excellent grades and can't pass the task test shouldn't mean anything and they should be able to pass to the next grade if they've made great grades all year. They don't do the TASK test in Austin nor NC but they do it here in Killeen, TX why is that??"