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Texas Education Commissioner kicks off statewide tour in Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas - The Texas Education Commissioner kicked off a statewide tour in Abilene Tuesday afternoon to get the word out about a new report card designed to help parents help their kids.

Commissioner Mike Morath visited with students at AISD's Academy of Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Science, or ATEMS campus. It's his first stop on a tour across Texas to let people know about a new tool for parents.

"We know that a parent is really the first teacher of a child, and our goal is that this new report card gives them all the information they need, or more information, to support their individual student's growth," Morath said.

It's a report card for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness program, or STAAR test. The test is taken by students in grades three through eight, and some in high school, to measure how well a student performs on grade level. There will be a paper version and an online version with resources, tools and tips parents can use to help their kids learn.

"Mom and dad will be able to log into our website over the summer, and they'll be able to see every question their kid took on the reading and math test over the last year, whether their kid got it right or wrong [and] what the right answer is," Morath said.

We also asked the commissioner about his take on the controversial new "A through F" rating campuses will be given by the state starting next year -- instead of the pass/fail ratings they get now.

"What we want to try to do is foster a growth mindset, if you will, foster an attitude of continuous improvement for everybody in public education," Morath said.

Morath said paper versions of the report cards should be ready by late June or early July.

He said the website with the online report cards should be up by June 13.

That will be at www.texasassessments.com

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