top of page

The Disproportionate Taking Of The TAKS-M by Minority Students in HISD

Modern-Day Segregation? Minority Students take the modified Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test (TAKS-M) at a disproportionate rate in comparison to White Students.

By: Joy Ndamukunda

Hispanic and African American students with a learning disability are systematically more likely than White students to be tested on much less difficult and reduced exams.

What is the TAKS-M?

The TAKS is a standardized assessment to test students’ academic growth in Texas. The TAKS-M is the modified version of the TAKS and is usually given to students who have disabilities. With this in mind, it is important to note that HISD has failed to meet the federal No Child Left Behind Act's yearly acceptable progress standards for three years in a row, due to the district allowing too many special education students to take modified TAKS.

African American and Hispanic students with learning difficulties were more likely than White students with learning disabilities to take the TAKS-M. Additionally, African American students with learning disabilities are consistently excluded from the standard accountability system at significantly higher rate than White students with learning disabilities, and this trend is visible – albeit less consistently – for Hispanic students with learning disabilities. Teachers who decided whether children should take the modified TAKS exam did so if they had any worries that a student would not score well on the TAKS or the TAKS-Accommodated. In other words, the default decision-making was not based on a competence assumption, but rather on an incapability assumption. This infuses prejudice into how students with learning difficulties are classified. Furthermore, teachers’ ability to judge whether a student should take the TAKS-M test based on preconceptions demonstrates how minority students are perceived as less capable.

Here we see pie charts of the percentages of African American and Hispanic Students taking the TAKS-M in elementary, middle, and high school in comparison to white students. Although the percentages vary greatly across elementary, middle, and high school, it is clear that African American and Hispanic students in elementary, middle, and high school are more likely than white students to take the TAKS-M.

bottom of page