Why did 51,130 Texas 5th graders miss STAAR Science Question #1?
Not all students have the ability to shift through the unnecessary information, because not all 5th graders are at the same cognitive developmental stage. TEA adds this extraneous information in the name of increasing “rigor.” It makes questions like this unfair to some 5th grade students. The STAAR One-Size-Fits-All TESTs need to be more fair to all students.
Note: The STAAR TEST for 5th graders has 39 pages of questions. This alone would be enough to stress me. If the first question confused me, any pre-test confidence I had might be lost. Why purposely make a test difficult?
Did you know that elementary kids take this test in a classroom with the walls covered with paper or sheets? This is so they cannot see any charts or information. They are in this room for four hours. They are escorted to the bathroom by an adult –it is a very “cloak and danger ” environment. Teachers are not allowed to even cast their eyes toward the test for fear of being fired. Some children are so stressed over the fear of failing that they vomit.
I’ve yet to be given a reasonable reason why the STAAR tests are given. There have been no changes because of the scores on last year’s tests that I know of. Why do this to elementary children? Because of the stressful procedure –the length of the test–and the fact that the STAAR test is the only thing that matters in Texas education, I vote that the STAAR tests be cancelled. Let’s reevaluate what is important in education.
Would more students have better understood question #1 if the terms “rotate and rotation” were used only in reference to the globe and Earth?
1. Kids might better understand the problem if it read—“They spun the globe,” instead of “They rotated the globe.”
2. Rotation rate is not a term that is part of the TEKS and thus teachers may not have introduced it.
Many Texas School Districts purchase instructional materials from their district Education Service Center (ESC). The 20 ESCs are selling the “gutted” CSCOPE curriculum for the same fee as when this instructional material contained the CSCOPE lessons.
Following is part of an Information Focus Document (IFD) that is still being sold to Texas School Districts. The blue print is said to provide information that teachers need to develop lessons that prepare their students for the STAAR test. Why do teachers need the the TEKS broken into parts? A lot of money is being spend on what are now called TRS IFDs instead of CSCOPE IFDS.
What ever the name, there is nothing in this information about rotation rate. Since schools purchasing TRS IFDs from the ESCs require their teachers to use the information, without books and only the TEKS and what the ESCs called TEKS specificities (blue type), many 5th grade teachers may not discuss rotation rate. Did 51,130 Texas students missed this STAAR question because of the poor quality of the instructional materials being sold to Texas schools by the Texas Education Service Centers?