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...The Texas Education Agency's standardized test was the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills, or TAAS test.

I'm a 2004 graduate and part of the official last class to graduate under this test.

And I'm glad.

Today, reporters at the Victoria Advocate gathered the final ratings for each school district for the counties in our coverage area and I realized just how much more difficult these tests are.

My high school had received the exemplary rating three years in a row under the TAAS test.

I still remember being in 11th grade and thinking how easy the test was. I also remember when I was a senior, they had us guinea pig for the TAKS test and though I still did well, the subject matter was much more difficult. (Math and science has never been my forte).

I fully respect these students who now have to study much more toward passing this exam. At the same time, I did not understand how the TAAS test prepared me for life and think the same thing about the TAKS test.

Those were my sentiments while in high school and I still stand by that opinion.

I wanted to be taught life skills. Teach me about APR. Explain to me financing. Talk to me about student loans. How do you file your taxes? What is interest rate?

These were the questions I asked when I was in high school. Meanwhile, here I was trying to find the solution for 4x + 3 = 16. (By the way, the answer for X is 3. And that's about as far as my math skills go.)

So what do you think of the TAKS test? Do you stand by standardized testing? How should we measure a student's success?

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Comment on this blog or shoot me an e-mail at jrortega@vicad.com. Remember, you can also follow me on Twitter @j_r_ortega.