During their regular March 16 meeting, the board members of Mason I.S.D. addressed the increased reliance of state and national education officials on standardized testing of students.The board members expressed their concerns that, as Robert Scott (Commissioner of Education) had stated, high stakes testing has become "a perversion of its original intent." They further noted that they wished for all students to be engaged in meaningful learning activities that cultivate their unique individual talents, and embraced the concept that students can be both consumers and creators of knowledge.The resolution passed by the board acknowledges that accountability in public schools is vital; but, that the current standardized tests dominate instructional time and block the educators' ability to make progress toward a world-class education system of student-centered schools and future-ready students.The resolution calls upon the Texas Legislature to reexamine the public school accountability system, and to develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and other external evaluation arrangements, and more accurately reflects what students know, appreciate and can do in terms of the rigorous standards essential to their success, enhances the role of teachers as designers, guides to instruction and leaders, and nurtures the sense of inquiry and love of learning in all students.The board passed this resolution just as students begin testing under the newest guidelines produced by the state, a change from the previous TAAS tests required for advancement and graduation.During the March 19 meeting, the board also once again discussed options for updating the cafeteria operations at Mason I.S.D. During the February meeting, the board talked about a recent visit by consultants who informed school officials that the Mason cafeteria could offer a greater number of entree choices, using existing facilities, with staff numbers either reduced or unchanged. The consultants advised that Mason I.S.D. should consider looking into a more detailed review of the cafeteria and to possibly consider using an external firm to handle the hiring and management for those workers.During the March 19 meeting, the board discussed two proposals they had received from consulting/management firms specializing in cafeteria operations. The board members still had questions concerning actual costs of the plans presented, and about the retention of current employees within the planned systems.Superintendent Pam Kruse will gather more information and present it at the April meeting.