State expert refutes claims STAAR test is too hard

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An expert is denying that Texas made its latest standardized test too difficult, saying such exams have always gotten harder but students still tend to improve their scores over time.

More than 600 school districts have sued Texas after the Legislature approved $5.4 billion in cuts to public education last year.

They claim the cuts have been especially costly since they came amid rising annual student enrollment. They also follow Texas' implementation of a new and more-rigorous statewide exam known as STAAR.

Testifying Monday was Texas Education Agency director of student assessment Gloria Zyskowski.

She said standardized tests in Texas have always gotten progressively harder, yet students traditionally do better over the years.

Asked if STAAR performance will follow that trajectory, Zyskowsi said she expects "the same pattern would prevail."

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