Texas Lawmakers Propose End to College Readiness Test

Article excerpt

AUSTIN, TEXAS

Legislators have proposed eliminating the Texas Academic Program Skills Test, which has been used for more than a decade to decide whether students are ready for college classes. Opponents of the test see it as an obstacle to the state's desire to increase its college graduates, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

About 200,000 students, most of them headed for community colleges, take the test every year. Four-year universities prefer that their applicants take the SAT or the ACT.

Students who take the TASP Test must pass all three sections: writing, reading and math. If they fail one or more sections, they must take remedial classes before they can sign up for a college class.

The remedial program costs taxpayers close to $100 million a year, but more than half the students drop out of the classes.

Legislators say the test is too demanding. They argue that with the state facing a record budget shortfall, dollars are being ill-spent on the remedial program.

Community college faculty members say that doing away with the test will not correct deficiencies in students' academic abilities and will make it more difficult to detect weaknesses. …