El Paso, TX — Texas lawmakers are scrambling to scale back the testing system they passed for public high school graduation requirements.
The legislation would reduce the number of state-mandated standardized end of course exams, called STARR tests that were implemented last year for the first time.
"They're really hard, they're I guess more than what I expected them to be."
Carla Cortes is talking about the end of course tests she took for the first time last school year, as did the rest of Texas public high school students. She feels the exams are too demanding for a high schooler.
"To know what we have to study, how much and by the time they give us a certain time to finish the test and I don't believe it's fair they only give us a certain time to finish what we have to finish," said Cortes.
Norma De La Rosa, the El Paso Teachers Association President agrees.
"Stressful and I think it's rather ridiculous that so many end of course exams have to be taken by our students in order to graduate. We as teachers have lost the ability to really be creative in the classroom to teach the curriculum and the content of that curriculum," said De La Rosa.
The Texas Education Agency says last year, there were about 430,000 failed exams, but the same student could have failed more than once. Not everyone fails though.Yanet Montoya passed her tests with flying colors, graduated and went on to
"It's just being self confident about yourself just knowing that you study. Knowing that you're gonna pass them. So it's just like every person's different," said Montoya.
So the students that don't pass have to take it over until they do.
"We have not seen the actual test and will not see it. It's leaving a lot of teachers and a lot of students in a quandary here because we now have to teach the content," said De La Rosa.
Students and teachers have gotten the attention of Texas lawmakers, who are tackling new education reform, including those EOC exams. With the end of the year quickly approaching, Cortes hopes this is the last time she has to take the STAAR tests. She hopes for a different system of testing or to revert back to the old way, which will still prepare students for college.