AM Update 6/19/12
6:46 am
Tue June 19, 2012

AM Update: STAAR Heads to Public Ed Committee, Hasan Trial Delay, Juneteenth Celebration

Lawmakers to Hear Testimony on STAAR Implementation

State lawmakers will get an update today on how the rollout of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, known as STAAR, went this spring. The exam is the state’s latest school accountability test.

Figures released this month indicated that many Texas ninth graders performed poorly on the test. As the Texas Tribune previously reported, “This year, the scores on the exams don’t count toward high school students’ final grades or toward school districts’ accountability ratings. But a requirement that students retake a test if they do not achieve a minimum score remains in place.” So due to low scores, many students will retake exams this summer.

The House Public Education Committee will hear from stakeholders and the general public on the impact of the new program on students, teachers and promotion rates.

"Texas needs to get away from its over reliance on one high-stakes standardized test, and develop a curriculum that allows teachers – the real education experts – to do what they do best," Clay Robinson, a spokesman with the Texas State Teachers Association, tells KUT News.

Robinson's group will spend its time before lawmakers focusing not on how the new test performed - but on revamping the state's testing system.

Fort Hood Trial May Be Delayed

The trial of Fort Hood shooting suspect Major Nidal Hasan may be delayed.

The military judge is expected to consider several motions, including whether to delay the trial until December, at a hearing scheduled for 10:00 am today.

Hasan may be barred from the courtroom if he is not clean shaven as Army rules require, but may view the proceedings by closed-circuit television. An earlier pre-trial hearing was postponed because he appeared with a beard.

Road Closures as a Part of the Juneteenth Celebration

Expect some road closures today as part of the Annual Juneteenth Celebration. Parts of East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Comal Street near the Oakwood cemetery will be closed until noon as part of the 2K Freedom Run and the Historical parade.

The parade route begins at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Comal Street and ends at Rosewood Park, where a festival with live entertainment, games and more will be held until 9 p.m. You can find a map of the parade route here.

The Greater East Austin Youth Association is hosting the celebration in an effort to create cultural awareness about Texas African American history through events, educational programs and individual projects.