SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- What do you think about the state's STAAR Test? State lawmakers want to know, including a San Antonio representative who is already leading the cause to make changes.
Representative Mike Villarreal filed House Bill 596
Tuesday, which he says would bring "balance" to the STAAR Test.
Fifteen-year-old student Amanda Mendoza welcomes an education that will challenge her to do her best.
"I do realize it is for the best for my college," Amanda told us. "So, when I get to college, I don't struggle. And I know working hard sooner is better than working hard later and you struggle more."
But, Amanda says the STAAR Test, which is really in its infancy can be overwhelming.
"It does get stressful," said San Antonio Independent School District teacher Andrea Garcia. "Feeling that pressure, they do make that pressure on teachers. I feel like I have to drop content that I am supposed to teach, drop everything, and teach to this test."
State Representative Mike Villarreal is hoping his newly introduced House Bill 596 will change that.
"It does four things," Villarreal told us. "Number one, we decrease and limit the total number of days that can be devoted to testing to 10% of all classroom days."
Plus, the bill would reduce the number of exams for high school students from 15 down to 4. Villarreal also wants to make sure an accountability system is used to know whether schools are failing or not, instead of using words you see now like "exemplary" and "recognized."
And as it stands, the STAAR Test makes up for 15-percent of a student's final grade. Villarreal would like to change that.
We spent some time walking through House Bill 596 with a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). She says that last point isn't really an issue yet.
"Yes, the law does require that the end of course exams, the ones that students take at the high school level count 15% of their final grade," said Deetta Culbertson of the TEA. "However, both last year and this year the commissioner has made the option for district's to waive that requirement."
You can always send your thoughts on the STAAR Test to your lawmaker or the TEA (See contact information below).