Thursday, April 24, 2014
Mr. Michael L. Williams
Commissioner of Education
William B. Travis Building
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Dear Mr. Williams:
On March 31st and April 1st many students across the State of Texas were administered the redesigned English I and English II End of Course Exams. They were allotted five hours to complete the exam; many struggled to finish within the five hour time limit.
One of the main factors that contributed to their struggle to complete the exam in five hours was the fact that the exam contained thirteen multiple choice “field test” questions, a second one page essay and one additional short answer response. These extra “field test” questions amounted to twenty-five percent of the test, twenty-five percent that were a waste time and effort because they did not count towards the passing of the exam.
I am writing you as a parent and educator to ask you to direct the Pearson Company to remove all “field test” questions, additional essays and short answer responses from future English I and English II exams. The removal of the extra questions will allow the students more time to focus on what is necessary rather than spend an hour writing an essay that doesn’t count towards passing the exam.
David R. Taylor
26 Year Teacher, Coach, and Principal