More Parents Choosing TAKS Free Schools

Published: Mar. 7, 2008 at 1:17 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2008 at 12:23 AM CST
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It's a better learning environment and experience.

That's what a student and teacher in Amarillo tell Newschannel 10's Stephanae Benson about their decision to go TAKS free.

"My parents didn't like the fact that all we focused on was learning for the taks test. You don't learn anything else, it's just for the taks test until the end of the year and then it's over and then you start again." said Lehka Pathapati, a 6th grade student whose family recently transferred her to St. Andrews where they do not administer the TAKS test.

A new trend for Amarillo parents because they feel the test does more harm than good. 

"I would not be comfortable taking my kid out of St. Andrews to the public school a lot being because of the TAKS test. I think that teachers are having to teach for the child to be successful on the TAKS test instead of teach what the what the child can be successful for in life." That's what one parent Charla Valdez said about making the switch.

Bobby Purcell retired from a local school district after 29 years of teaching. She agrees the focus on TAKS is too great.

"I taught 4th grade writing and my scores would affect the entire schools rating and for me there was quite a bit of pressure because I wanted my students to do well and I wanted my scores to help my school."

Purcell says the freedom to teach without taks ties is wonderful because she can spend more time on subjects and make sure her students understand what they are learning before moving on.

"Instead of a curriculum determining what we teach, when we teach it and how it will be tested."

Lekha says, "You learn a lot more and it's not like because of the taks test you're going to learn how to do this, you learn everything."

Another parent tells us when searching for a TAKS free school, make sure the school you choose is accredited by the state.