The Dallas Morning News published an editorial praising high-stakes testing. The News thinks the tests are necessary and valuable, even though parents don’t.

 

You can tell that no one on the editorial board has children in public schools, because they can’t understand why parents object to the state’s obsession with standardized testing. They congratulate patents got not opting out. They say nothing about the billions of dollars cut from Texas schools in 2011.

 

They just love that data. The kids, not so much.

 

They write:

 

“Dallas Morning News education writer Corbett Smith reports that only about 2,000 Texas families refused the test in 2015-16. That number is tiny compared with New York, where 240,000 opted out of the assessment, or Colorado, where 100,000 didn’t take it.

 

“Opting out of STAAR tests isn’t easy in Texas — but it is possible. So the low number leads us to hope that, despite the massive dislike of accountability exams, parents recognize STAAR’s importance.

 

“This newspaper shares that belief. That’s why our goals for 2016 include advocating for accountability and making a renewed case for the importance of testing, despite the system’s flaws. We have pledged to listen carefully to critics and bone up on best practices so we can urge reform that works.

 

“The first cleanup falls squarely on the state’s new testing vendor. New Jersey-based Educational Testing Services, which won a $280 million contract from the state, has left campuses mired in computer glitches and exam flaws. Just Thursday, it was accused of losing all the elementary and middle school tests in a small Central Texas school district.

 

“Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath assessed the mess this way: Those problems are “unacceptable” and must be fixed.

 

“But the solution isn’t to throw out the whole system, and it’s encouraging to see that most families and school districts get that.

 

“Families deserve to know how their students are progressing against the state standard; without a consistent scorecard, too much is left to chance. That can be a special problem as children move into the later years of elementary school and into middle school, where students most often slip.

 

“Likewise, school districts need to know not only how their students are performing, but how to evaluate teachers and help them grow to be the best possible educators.”