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Education advocacy group wants more success indicators other than the STAAR test

Part of the group's mission statement is that the State over-relies on the STAAR test and that there should be other means to rate a school's success.

AUSTIN, Texas —

A school advocacy group is hosting an event Tuesday at the Texas State Capitol to suggest changes to standard testing across the state.

Raise Your Hand Texas says it has been gathering research and feedback on how the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test is impacting students and the changes students want to see in the test. 

The group's report, called "Measure What Matters," will be released at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, from the south steps of the Capitol. 

Part of the group's mission statement is that the State over-relies on the STAAR test and that there should be other means to rate a school's success, especially for elementary and middle schools. 

One member from the group said that multiple people want to see other indicators of school success besides the STAAR test. 

"We need to rely on other things than just one test on one day. Those are those are snapshots in time. Our teachers, our schools are doing so much more than that to get students ready for career, college and military readiness," said Bob Popinski, senior director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas. "I think by looking at other indicators, we can focus on what not only what schools are doing good but what they actually need to improve on. And by having a wide variety of indicators, I think we can do that."

The research the group gathered covers the entire state, including 13 different regions across Texas. The group spoke to thousands of people in each region to gather feedback for their report.

"The overwhelming answer was pretty straightforward: that STAAR [is] not the only answer and that if we can look at our A-3 rating system in a meaningful way, whether or not you offer and provide participation in pre-K programs, or you look at chronic absenteeism, or you have access to extracurricular fine arts or foreign language programs, they wanted to build that into the accountability system," Popinski said. 

The group will have speakers at the steps of the Capitol to explain and answer any questions regarding the report.

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