Amarillo Parents and Teachers Voice Opinions About the STAAR Test
Yesterday, a story came out about a glitch with the STAAR test that might have 39 kids retaking the test entirely. We asked the community how they feel about the STAAR test and got some interesting responses.
The STAAR test is very stressful for the students, as well as parents and teachers. So we asked the question, "Do you think they should do away with STAAR testing in Texas?"
We got this message from a passionate teacher:
Hey guys, I heard you on the radio today and realized there are lots of misconceptions about STAAR testing.
I'm a teacher/parent and literacy PhD student at tech. Last year I studied state testing pretty in depth and I have a lot to say...
Skipping the STAAR Test
Tomorrow and Wednesday we have chosen to pull our daughter out of school to prevent her from taking the state standardized test. What will be the result, I expect nothing. Students who do not take the STAAR can be evaluated by a Grade Placement Committee (GPC) and they have the official say on whether she will move to 5th grade. This is the process until 9th grade when passing the STAAR/EOC becomes mandatory (except for a couple circumstances). Luckily, our daughter's teacher's and the school admin are VERY supportive of opting out, and we've received no backlash concerning the decision to pull her out. This acceptance is not the same around our state.
In December of last year, Obama signed a rewrite to NCLB that eliminates the connection of adequate yearly progress and federal funding There should be less pressure placed on students and teachers who work to pass a test which, at best, provides the state and federal government with an inaccurate measure of student abilities.
This is a list of reasons I, as a parent, believe standardized testing is inappropriate.
1. Scores are a snapshot of a single day and do not take into consideration factors that prevent students from demonstrating their true abilities.
2. The test requires students to write in a way that is inappropriate to real life. Relevent writing takes a back seat in order to provide enough time to tailor writing to the test.
3. Students see reading and writing as the way to pass a test and not as a real life skill. This altered thinking has created an epidemic known as "Aliteracy." Essentially, students do not connect the real-life relevance of reading and writing.
4. Assessments should guide classroom instruction. State scores are outdated and vague providing little use to teachers.
5. The length of the test violates EVERY sinew of research regarding a child's ability to focus for a given period of time.
6. So much time and effort is devoted to the test that students inevitably stress not knowing if they will have the ability to succeed.
7. To help students achieve the mandatory score, many are forced to take non-credited classes removing them from electives.
Bottom line, the government provides schools with money and therefore expects there to be accountability. I believe Principals and Superintendents should be empowered with the right to hold teachers and students accountable. My kids will NOT take these tests tomorrow or any year that follows.
Here are some local parents and teachers talking about the STAAR test: