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February 13, 2012      6:26 PM

TWO SIDES BATTLE OVER TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL TESTING REGIME

In letter to lawmakers, Hammond challenges Robert Scott; bipartisan group of Senators plus north Texas school districts push back

Bill Hammond at the Texas Association of Business is ready to go toe-to-toe with the top superintendents in the state in a fight to maintain the current path forward on the state’s revamped accountability system.

There’s more than a war of words under way right now on the topic of accountability and public education,” Hammond wrote in a letter he distributed to lawmakers around noon today. “The rhetoric and the recent actions espoused by opponents of a quality public education system in Texas are poised to set our state on a tragic course.”

The target of Hammond’s ire is a second letter, signed by a consortium of North Texas superintendents, that backed Commissioner Robert Scott’s comments at TASA’s Midwinter Conference recently that the state might do well to step back and take a look at some of the unintended consequences of standardized testing.

“We are not against accountability,” wrote the school leaders in the letter released over the weekend. “In fact, our students have performed well on every test the state has developed. The system of the past will not prepare our students to lead in the future, and neither will the standardized tests that so dominate instructional time.”

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