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Top Morning Stories 2/13/12: Districts React to STAAR, Texas on Top in Exporting

KUT News
At their headquarters on West Sixth tonight, AISD will consider the role the STAASR test should play in determining students' grades.

STAAR-Crossed Educators Take Second Look at Test

Districts from across Texas are finding ways to curtail a component of the STAAR exam that makes the test  count towards students' grade-point averages and class rank, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The move comes in the wake of a growing unease with the role of standardized testing.

While the exam is required by law to compose 15 percent of a student's grade in each course, no specific guideline for doing so exists. With that leeway, individual districts are taking the reins into their own hands. Georgetown and Pflugerville, for example, have set minimum scores on end-of-course exams at 60 and 69, respectively.

In Austin, AISD has polled parents on several potential courses of action. Currently, all of the proposed options would affect class rank.  But now with the actions of surrounding districts, AISD is poised to change how they'll incorporate the scores.

The Austin school board will meet today to discuss end-of-course exams. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m., Carruth Administration Center Board Auditorium, Room B100, 1111 W. Sixth St.

Texas on Top in Exporting

Texas was ranked the top exporting state for 2011,  according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is the 10th straight year that Texas has received the accolade.

For 2011, Texas' exports totaled more than $249.8 billion – a 20.7 percent increase from 2010. Leading exporting industries range from petroleum and coal products to non-electrical machinery. The countries Texas exported to most in 2011 were Mexico, Canada, China, Brazil and the Netherlands. 

Texas Lawyer Faces  Misconduct Suit

Kevin Glasheen, the Texas lawyer seen as driving a 2009 law that made Texas dramatically raise its compensation for the wrongly convicted, is set to be tried for professional misconduct today.

The State Bar of Texas brought suit against Glasheen, prompted by complaints from former clients he charged fees that were much too high: $1 million in one case, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

If found guilty, Glasheen could face disbarment. The trial begins today in Lubbock, Texas.

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