STAAR/EOCs Are Failures

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What is the Purpose of the STAAR/EOC Tests?

Janice VanCleave Screaming for Help

The TEKS and STAAR/EOC tests are suppose to raise the level of education in Texas. Well, how is it working?
As far as I can determine, the only thing being raised is the amount of money being spent on the tests and my blood pressure.

What Value is the Results of the STAAR/EOCs  Tests?

Since the tests are never viewed by educators, what guarantees parents that their children are being accurately accessed?

The value of the grades is determined by ???? Who puts a value on these test grades? I think it is Pearson Publishing, the
company who is paid $100 million each year to produce the STAAR/EOC Tests. Since no one views these tests, Pearson is the one who totally controls how Texas students are accessed. How does Pearson determine who passes and who fails?

No TEST Should Trump Grades Earned During the Entire School Year

One child was given an award for being on the A/B honor roll the whole school year. Two days later the same
child was informed that she had failed the STAAR social studies test and would have to repeat this course. When parents requested to view the STAAR test as well as their child’s grades for the school year, The 2 failing points on the STAAR test was no longer considered.

Another parent has reported the same thing. Her son has passing grades, but is being required to attend summer school because of failing part of the STAAR test. What is the point of students attending school when the STAAR tests determine whether they pass or fail. Kids that fail the STAAR wasted their time attending classes all year. What educational benefit does it provide for kids to attend a face-paced summer school class? If kids really do not understand a subject, would they pass the STAAR after attending summer school? I say no. What about honor roll students who fail the STAAR. Who is at fault here? Most likely no one. The pressure placed on students to pass the STAAR is contributing to failing grades. Some students do not function at their best under pressure.

Parents —I suggest that you do not allow your child to fail because of the STAAR. No one has said that it works in the opposite direction. If a student fails all year long and passes the STAAR Tests, are they promoted to the next grade?   

The STAAR/EOC Tests are fact based while CSCOPE and other constructivist/progressive instructional materials are not not based on facts. Thus, students in schools using progressive, project based learning, such as CSCOPE, are not prepared to take a fact based tests, such as STAAR/EOC. Do administrators purchasing CSCOPE know this? YES! Why would administrators purposely force teachers to use instruction materials that are based on the opinions of students, authors of the curriculum instead of facts? I have pondered on this for months. What do you think?

1. Schools with failing students receive more grant money from the state and Federal Government.
Millions of dollars are poured into schools with failing students.

Millions of dollars is spent re-mediating students who are achieving to the best of their abilities. No matter,  placing students in certain categories can result in more grant money.

2. The Education Service Centers who sell CSCOPE receive more grant money if they have failing schools in their regions. I am talking about Multi-Millions of dollars.

Educating failing students is one of if not the biggest money making business in the United States. I chal

lenge parents to research the amount of money received by Texas Schools for students tagged as At Risk (possible drop-outs),  non-readers, low math grades. Compare that to grant money for gifted and talented students.

I taught at Waco H.S. for a few years when students who were considered to be “At Risk” were paid to attend school. Paid money just to have their bodies in the building. No, they did not have to behave or participate in class or make passing grades. As a teachers, I considered paying these kids more money to not attend so other students could learn.

The truth was that local businesses provided the money and by being at school, at least in the morning, the school’s average daily attendance increased, thus more money from the state.

If you don’t understand things about education, generally there is a money trail. Sad but so very true. The STAAR/EOC Tests are one of the biggest money making racket in our state. Pearson Publishing prints and grades these tests. Pearson Publishing gives money to Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) who are fighting to get rid of the STAAR/EOC TESTs. Pearson Publishing is now being recommended by Senator Patrick as having curriculum to replace CSCOPE lessons. Pearson Publishing owns Texas’ Virtual Education. Pearson Publishing sells materials for students and teachers to help them pass the STAAR/EOC Tests. As far as I know, other publishing companies are not allowed to view the STAAR/EOC tests. Doesn’t Pearson Publishing have unfair market advantage? Isn’t this called a monopoly? The same is true for the CSCOPE vendor.

What Effect is the STAAR/EOCs Having On Students?

The following is from a parent of elementary children.

I really need some one to listen ! My two daughters have loved school every since they stepped through the door.

When they started taking the STAAR tests, in the beginning they didn’t know the meaning.

Things really changed this school year. School was no longer fun. With one child in the 4th and the other in the 5th, the pressure of preparing for the STAAR changed my girls. Before  my girls were subjected to da

y in and day out prepping and drilling for the infamous STAAR tests, my girls were happy. I picked up smiling, bubbling children excited to show me what they had done that day. Now, my girls don’t like school. Younger students still bounce out to the cars of parents, but not older kids who are always under the threat of failing the STAAR.

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!

Senator Patrick has shown us that we cannot trust our legislatures to help. If anything, the 83rd legislature lowered the Texas education standards and gave the CSCOPE vendor a pat on wrist. I do thank Freshman Steve Toth for standing his ground and standing up for education. His bill will place some control on the rogue Education Service Centers in Texas.

It is obvious that the STAAR/EOCs must be stopped. State tests can be useful if given to access progress. But the STAAR/EOC Tests are not achieving this. Will teachers go wild and only teach about their favorite topics, such as butterflies or dinosaurs? This is what the CSCOPE directors promote. If such a ludicrous thing was happening, it would be the principal’s responsibility to get the teacher back on track. The idea that a rigorous state tests results in good educators is stupid at best.

Let’s shelf the state tests for now. They are doing more damage than good.

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Comments

  1. All parents facing a Grade Placement Committee meeting to determine promotion after a STAAR failure should review the Grade Placement Committee meeting guide at http://www.txedrights.net

    We provide step by step instructions for parents to take control of the meeting and assure that the school follows the law. A school that denies a promotion appeal based solely on test results is not following the law.

  2. The 2011 date is obviously wrong. The No Child Left Behind Act was signed by former President George W. Bush in 2001. Sorry for the typo. 🙂

  3. I’m a history major at a university and in my Jr. year. I’m a non-traditional student who was in the public school system when teachers still controlled their classrooms and their lesson plans and principals left them alone. Peers often ask if, because I’m a history major, do I want to teach. Sometimes I want to laugh out loud because I see what’s happening to the Public School System and I can’t imagine trying to be a student in it, let alone teach in it. Sadly, Pearson, which is a merchant, first and foremost, has monopolized its position in an educational system which actually believes — rather delusional — that there is such a thing as standardized testing as if students were just blobs of grey matter to be extruded through some imaginary processing siphon and come out brilliant on the other side. The entire model is flawed from its roots to its tips. Sadly, the student “products” of this obscene methodology will not be the winners the NCLB designers imagine. more likely, because they have faced years of esteem-pounding “failures” and STARR performance pressures, they will be more neurotic, needing years of counseling, and that’s just the ones who manage to survive. Those who drop out because of the STARR-assessed “failures,” will be doomed to an uncertain future and correspondingly lower economic earning power. Is this what Geo. Bush envisioned with his sweeping legislation in 2001? Or is it just another case of a President wanting to leave his signature on an era? Well, he certainly did leave a legacy, and its results are crumbling all around us.

  4. I’m disgusted as well. I just got of the phone with the ARD department, asking them at what point do we stop this stupid testing. It’s done nothing but discouraged my child even further. He passes his classes but has never tested well. This has lowered his self esteem and made him feel like a failure. This test is an outrage and it’s allowing them to label our children as FAILURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so upset I could scream and cry.

  5. Texas Teacher says:

    Please excuse typos-iPhone issues

  6. Texas Teacher says:

    GW Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”
    Should actually be called “No Cash Left Behind.”

    There is absolutely NOTHING productive happening in education today. Pointless lessons created at unreasonably high levels of rigor when students are unable to show mastery of basic concepts is NOT the best approach, although that is what is expected in Texas classrooms.

    The paper trail required if a child fails is horrendous…I spend more time documenting than teaching most days. During my planning period, I am meeting about the students that I predict will fail rather than planning engaging lessons. Every once of enjoyment is stripped from the classrooms starting on third grade. The teachers hate their lessons and goodness knows the kids do as well.

    The motivator is cash. $452 million for a five year contract to create and score these tests. Ten times that is made on the sell of test prep materials that only
    Pearson can manufacture as they own the tests and have sole knowledge of the contents.

    As for TAKS changing to STAAR-again that is only for the money. The well being of a child is not te reason for this change. Pearson’s dilemma is that students were beginning to perform well on TAKS and the test prep sells were down. By all means…out with the old and in with the new all in the name of progress.

    Money is the factor. Pearson has the most to gain and in return for continued protection under laws, they generously pad the pockets of politicians.

    It’s a sad, sad world. Trust me…teachers are not the problem
    In this equation.

  7. I AM BEYOND LIVID AT THIS POINT! MY BLOOD IS BOILING AND I’M SEEING RED! My son was suppose to take the STAAR Modified test. He was given the regular test, which we did not find out until AFTER we found out he failed! Then he had to do the retake test. He failed again. Again, he took the regular test, not the modified. WHAT is the point of having ARD Meetings, where you’re told he will have the modified test and then they give him the regular test. Now, you want him to drop classes he needs to be able to graduate high school when the time comes, just to give him filler classes to help with the STAAR test. How’s about this . . . MAYBE, just maybe, you should have GIVEN HIM THE RIGHT TEST in the first place!!!!!! Maybe if they pass their classes, the STAAR test should not matter. It’s bull! I am so fed up it’s disgusting!

    • Joyce,
      At this time, I find nothing positive about student taking the STAAR Tests. If schools are going to use CSCOPE lessons with errors, why take a test to determine
      the something is wrong?

  8. I am so livid! My son is an AB honor roll student. He is not a disciplinary problem, he has good attendance and is a great student. What he is not is a good test taker. My son failed the 8th grade math STAAR test three times. Each time by one point. The school wants to retain him in the 8th grade. My husband and I are highly against it. My son has already said he will do what it takes to get by and when he is old enough he will just drop out because he is already a failure. The committee would not listen to our side of the story and all of them said that he needed to be retained another year to get his scores up. We even appealed to the super and she was on the same side and though it be best he be held back to “ensure he passes the test”. I feel like my child is not been given a fair chance. I don’t even know where to go from here.