School districts left to decide to double-test 8th graders

School districts left to decide to double-test 8th graders
Amarillo, TX - After eighth graders enrolled in algebra I take their state math exams in May, some may have to sit back down and take another exam because of new high school graduation standards.

Federal and state officials are trying to work out a conflict between testing requirements under the state's new high school graduation standards and federal education law.

Districts have been left with the option of ignoring federal law and face a penalty, or testing their student's twice.

Once in algebra I to fulfill state requirements and once under the eighth grade level math assessment used for federal accountability purposes.

We spoke with the principal of Austin Middle school, Alan Nickson, about what A.I.S.D decided to do.

"We will not be giving our 8th grade algebra one students double testing for math. They will only take the end of course test for algebra. At one time we were told that they had to take both and then recently the commissioner said that he recommends not to, but he left it at a local decision and Amarillo I.S.D supports that recommendation and they will only be taking one math test."

The principal of Bushland I.S.D says they are confident with their decision not to double test their students.

"To try and find some time to cover a test about 8th grade math that was not covered in algebra one is kind of an injustice because they are geared towards that test and they are having to stop call time out and fill in the blanks. And good quality teaching is not about filling in the blanks.

Canyon I.S.D is also choosing not to double test.

However, River Road I.S.D 8th graders will be tested in both algebra and 8th grade math.