TAKS vs. End of Course Exams

According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, “State legislators will consider getting rid of the TAKS test when they return to a regular legislative session in a few weeks.”

Senate Education Chair Florence Shapiro (along with some others) would like to replace the TAKS test  End of Course Exams.

I can’t decide if the TAKS or the EOC is a better option.  I don’t like the TAKS, but I am afraid of the EOC’s because at the moment they are unknown.   Here are some of my thoughts…

Potential Positives

Potential Negatives

1. EOC tests will be given at the end of each year so students will be tested on what they have learned the current year (instead of what they learned in years past). 1. At least we are familiar with the TAKS… the EOC will be unknown (at least for awhile). 
2. Legislators are at least recognizing there might be a problem with standardized testing. 2. Students will be required to pass many tests to receive credit for graduation instead of just four.
  3. If I am correct, the EOCs will be written by the same groups as the authors of the current TAKS, so the potential of being the same is present.

I am sure there are many other things to consider in switching from TAKS to EOC’s.  What are your thoughts on the matter?

Here are some additional links to news articles on the matter if you would like to read up…

Explore posts in the same categories: Standardized Testing, TAKS

5 Comments on “TAKS vs. End of Course Exams”

  1. Jerram Says:

    1) I’ll believe it when I see it, and 2) I don’t have faith that it will be better. The legislator’s seem to be so far removed and seem to always manage to throw in a piece that takes a good idea and runs it into the ground.

    Is assessment good? Yes, it is foundational to education. But assuming that a mandatory assessment translates into students that learn is far from accurate. To not include any performance based components or look at a cross section of a students work is fallible as well.

    So, if they change the system before we have even had a chance to adjust to it like we have done with past systems, we’ll only take another ‘plunge’ on the record books, kill our AYP (on the books) and provide more false evidence against the effectiveness of public schools. Be wary – that may be exactly what they are after.

  2. sscajun Says:

    I did some research last year that led me to the conclusion that EOCs are a better solution at the high school level (due to differences in course sequences, promotion/retention policies, and the structure of TAKS testing). The research and conclusions that I reached can be read HERE.

    As for the question about the questions being the same as on the TAKS — that may very well be the case. However, testing a student on Geometry after they have had the opportunity to take the class is much better than testing them on Geometry simply because they are classified as a 10th grade student (who may be taking Algebra I for the second time).

    Summative high-stakes testing is not going away any time soon. The best we can hope for is the lesser of two evils.

    Hopefully, some day in the future educators will be allowed to be more involved in the decision-making and we will be able to push for formative assessment which is much more effective in improving student learning.

    Stephanie Sandifer

  3. Stephanie,

    Thank you for the useful information. I guess we will see soon enough what is in store for us all. 🙂

  4. Tyler Says:

    I am writing a story on the TAKS vs. EOC debate for my High School paper, and im still not clear what the EOC is exactally, so if someone could post another comment and PLEASE fill me in, that would be just great.

  5. CteachesMath Says:

    I teach Algebra 1 and gave both the EOC test and the 9th grade TAKS test to my students. Both tests are created by the TEA. Significantly more students passed the TAKS test than the EOC test. Keep in mind that the TAKS tests are designed to determine whether the students have the minimum required knowledge to graduate or move onto the next grade level. The EOC test evaluates how well the student knows the material presented during the current school year. The TAKS test will be easier to students because they are tested on concepts they mastered in previous years.

    I believe standardized tests are vital in our school systems because there should be accountability in education. Without accountability (which is why the TAKs was implemented), many students do not learn required concepts and get passed onto the next grade and/or graduate without required skills for employment. TAKs forces teachers to know what their students know and more importantly, what they don’t know. Good teachers/schools would know this regardless of the TAKs. However, because of inadequate teachers/schools, the requirement is necessary.

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