Texas High School Students Off The Hook For 2nd Year

AUSTIN (November 30, 2012)--Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams is deferring for a second time the requirement that high schools count new end-of-course exams as 15 percent of a student's grade this school year.

Williams made the announcement Friday after Gov. Rick Perry suggested the deferral.

Perry appointed Williams in August.

Parents and many conservatives have complained about the new standardized STAAR test that was put into use for the first time last year.

Under the new testing regimen, students must pass the exams at the end of each semester in order to graduate from high school, and for the first time the exams were to be counted as part of a student's grade.

Teachers and parents complain they have not had enough time to adapt to the new system and test results were not part of grades last year.

The Texas Education Agency already gave ninth-graders a break from the requirement this school year.

Students, however, still must take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.

Republican Sen. Dan Patrick, chair of the chamber's education committee, has filed a bill that would make the exemption permanent.

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