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State may eliminate use of student testing projection measurement

State may eliminate use of student testing projection measurement
Facing stinging criticism, the Texas Education Agency may retool or eliminate the practice of counting as passing students who fail state-mandated tests but who are expected to pass in later years.

The Texas Projection Measure was first used last year and gives schools credit under the Texas and federal academic accountability systems for students who don't pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills but are expected to do so within three years.

In a letter sent Thursday to district administrators throughout the state, Education Commissioner Robert Scott said that he will review the measure because students' and educators' "hard work is being overshadowed by criticism of the use of TPM for state accountability purposes."

Scott could not be reached for comment Friday. In the letter, he asked for feedback on several options, including the suspension of the measurement, continued use of the measurement for districts that choose to and modification of the measurement's calculation.

Reached by phone Friday, state Rep. Scott Hochberg, chairman of an appropriations subcommittee overseeing the education budget, called Scott's proposals "lipstick on a pig."

"You don't make an invalid measure valid by doing less of it. I think we should start from scratch and develop a real measure of the progress students make in schools," said Hochberg, a Houston Democrat. "That's what this is supposed to be, but it never measured progress."

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