Education Summit Speaker: It's time to revamp the system away from standardized testing

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – East Texas community, business and political leaders met with area educators Tuesday in an effort to make a difference in your child's classroom.

The Lufkin-Angelina County Chamber of Commerce set up the partnership as part of its Education Summit.

Standardized testing was at the center of much of the discussion.  Dr. Jeff Turner, Superintendent, Coppell ISD, was the guest speaker.  Turner stressed the need for all school districts in Texas, even the ones labeled 'exemplary' to undergo a transformation.

"Testing for the improvement of school is the wrong direction.  Some kids are great test takers, but are our kids really getting an education," said Turner.  Turner said as a community we are addicted to test rankings.  He called the current standardized testing system 'a high stakes test' that causes corruption while our kids are losing out on an opportunity to get a valuable education.  He feels the pendulum of testing has gone as far as it is going to go and it is now time to push for it to swing back.

Turner advocates a digital learning environment that engages students, setting new learning standards and assessments for learning, improving the accountability for learning, organizational transformation, more balanced and reinvigorated state and local partnerships.

Following Turner's speech, the audience divided into groups to discussion several questions including "What is the appropriate role of state and federal government in local schools?  What are the biggest challenges in employment and working with new employees? and What can schools do to help with these challenges?"

Organizers of the summit said an action plan will be developed from the information from the break-out sessions with one goal being to keep East Texas economically viability and 'grow' the smartest kids.

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