AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Members of the state Senate Education Committee are spending hours maligning Texas' standardized testing system -- and talking openly about ways to reform it.
During a crowded hearing Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans alike asked pointed questions of state education officials about the exam known as the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR.
They asked everything from why so many high school students have failed it, to whether it's appropriate for youngsters in sun-kissed South Texas to answer math problems about the possibility of frost forming on their sidewalks.
Teachers, parents and community activists also lined up to complain about STAAR.
Committee chairman and Houston Republican Dan Patrick called standardized testing the Legislature's top issue this session and promised that changes to STAAR would be coming.
Meanwhile, the Texas Association of Business hired a plane to fly around the state Capitol to protest a move to lower standards on school testing.
The single-engine plane buzzed downtown Austin for more than an hour yesterday. Lawmakers are considering measures that would reduce the number of tests students must take to graduate high school.Texas lawmakers promising changes to STAAR
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