Teachers Prepare for Upcoming TAKS Exam

Hundreds of schools made the Texas Education Agency's now infamous list of campuses accused of testing irregularities in 2006. As a result, the T.E.A. has ordered several changes to this year's TAKS exam - especially the way the test is administered.

"T.E.A. is looking for us to use active monitoring," said Central I.S.D. Testing Coordinator, Rochelle Metts. "They do want teachers up moving around the room and checking to make sure that students are in the right section, [and that] they've not gone to a section from a previous day or gone ahead."

Critics of standardized testing believe there is too much focus and emphasis on the TAKS exam each year, causing unnecessary stress for students and teachers. But many East Texas educators believe stressing the importance of the TAKS test is in the students' best interest.

"That's part of the rules of the game," said C.I.S.D. math teacher, Ann Milstead. "We have to be competitive in the market now. We've got to get these students ready and kids have always had test fright. I don't think that's going to change."

Teachers do feel pressure to help their students pass the test, but they also realize cheating is not the answer.

Milstead said, "Any teacher who does anything illegal is not very wise because they're putting their teaching certificate in jeopardy. One of the things teachers need to do is exhibit integrity for their children. We're not going to have any testing irregularities out here at Central."