In February, Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams informed superintendents that every Texas school would be required to provide graphing calculators to all students taking the 8th grade STAAR mathematics exam.
Yesterday, Williams announced that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will allow schools to use graphing calculator applications available on electronic tablets in order to satisfy the new requirement. The option to use calculator applications will be on a pilot basis for the 2014–15 school year. If successful, Williams will consider extending the option and possibly expanding it to include the use of other technology such as smart phones. The move is meant to provide some flexibility and less expensive options for schools as they try to meet the new requirement.