Quality improvement is a continuous, collaborative, proactive effort to evaluate programs and service deliveries, in order for organizations to ensure that their programs are achieving the desired results and meeting customer expectations. This paper will focus on the improvement of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) within the Texas School District as well as provide an as-is flow chart for the process to be analyzed. This paper will also describe the relationship of the process to the organizations strategic plan and identify the internal and external customers who are impacted by this process.
Description and As-Is Flow ChartThe Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) requires students to choose and form answers to show his or her comprehension, skills, and understanding in each of the necessary academic learning requirements. The test consists of multiple choice, short answer questions as well as essay and problem solving questions. This test is timed and a student has a short time to complete. Some guidelines have been created for those students who need special accommodations such as special needs students, non-English speaking students, and those students who may be on a 504 plan.
Classroom teachers and curriculum specialists created the test across the state of Texas. Two committees were also established at each grade level for reading, writing, history, and one for math. These committees helped to establish guidelines for the test and specifications of the Essential Academic Learning Requirements. Another committee was also established that went through each questions to ensure that there were no words or comments that a student or family may take to be offensive. The following is a flow chart of the process of the development process of the TAKS. Those students who need special accommodations, such as special needs students, instead of taking the test submit a portfolio that teachers put together throughout the year to show the students progress towards meeting objectives from the individual education program (IEP) that the student is currently on.
Some ideas for improving the TAKS are more training for teachers as well as less stress placed on students for the TAKS. Currently the passing rate of the TAKS for high school students who need to pass in order to graduate is a little more than half. This shows that either teachers are not teaching the subjects to students or teachers do not understand the curriculum of the test in order to prepare his or her students to take the test. Another idea for improving the TAKS is to eliminate those students, which need special accommodations, from the regular education population results. By having, two separate sets of data would show where students are currently and may be a more accurate view of those students who are passing. Having these two sets of data combined does not give a realistic view of those students who are currently passing, the number may be much or...