Graduation requirements for East Texas students could change again

Helen Strohschein, LISD director of instruction
Helen Strohschein, LISD director of instruction
Suzanne McGee, English Teacher
Suzanne McGee, English Teacher

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - Graduation requirements for high school students could change, yet again.

"It's just kind of frightening facing the unknown," said Suzanne McGee, Central HS English Teacher.

From TAAS, to TAKS, to STAR, state educators are trying to prepare for a brand new system of standardized testing. The STAR test will be rolled-out next school year. With it, high schoolers will face stricter graduation standards.

"Students entering ninth grade next year must pass or must pass or must meet the standard and have an overall summary score in twelve different areas," said Helen Strohschein, LISD Director of Instruction.

Those 12 tests, needed to graduate, have been cut down to four in a pending house bill. It has educators like Strohschein anxious.

Educators are commenting on the lack of specific information coming from Texas Education Agency on the end of course exams.

"We have no practice tests, we have not seen anything to keep us prepare for these changes," said Mary Ann Whiteker, Hudson Superintendent.

Whiteker has a front-row seat in Austin. Whiteker says the proposed changes could be a way of easing the transition between TAKS and star.

Central High English teacher Suzanne McGee believes it's about money.

"Financial - It costs a lot to develop the tests, it cost a lot to get the tests graded," said McGee.

Opponents say reducing requirements violate star's mission: improving college and career readiness.

The proposed changes might never make it to the governor's desk.

"It's also my understanding the senate is very adamant about maintaining the 12 courses," said Whiteker.

Whatever happens, East Texas educators say they'll do their best to make students successful on the star.

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