Early End Of Course Exams Proving Tough For Some Amarillo Students

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Early results are in and scores on the end of course exams are lower than school officials had hoped.

Overall, students are not doing as well as educators want.  In fact, out of the 79,000 students who have taken the algebra one test, only 57 percent of them passed.  But students themselves say the new testing format is a welcome change from what they had been taking.

In two short years, the high school TAKS test will be extinct....only to be replaced by end of course tests - 12 tests over four years in the core subjects.  But before they become the norm in 2011, some schools are giving the exams as practice now.

AISD Tascosa Cluster Director Stan Chatman says, "our scores are not as high as we would like. We kind of expected that and we'll have to get used to those. It's a very thorough test."

It may be thorough, but students we talked with say it is also easier than TAKS.

Despite poor scores around Texas and in the Amarillo district, Tascosa Junior Isaiah Chapman says the end of course exams were better because "it was applying what we learned this year. We were tested over what we already knew so I thought it was a little bit simpler."

Sophomore Madeline Ritchie agrees, saying "I like it a lot better than the TAKS because I felt like it covered the information we learned better than the TAKS did."

To graduate high school, Texas students will need a passing average on the three tests in each subject area.

One Texas lawmaker who helped get rid of the TAKS test says teachers can soon focus more on the subjects they teach rather than teaching the TAKS.