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Texas Schools Teach to the STAAR TESTs

Back to School BuildingI am questioning sending kids to public school when most teachers are not provided quality instructional materials. Much of the school year is spent preparing kids for the STAAR tests. STAAR tests are given in April, thus all lessons have to be shortened in order to present all the TEKS before the tests. This leaves about 6wks at the end of school for ????

What are kids doing after the STAAR tests?

Are students failing the STAAR tests because they are not being prepared for these tests?

Parents, how well does your child read, write, do math? Can your child write in script?


Are scores on the STAAR tests low because the STAAR test questions are not being edited, thus there are errors? One would think that the millions and millions of tax money being spent on these tests would be en5th grade 2014 Science STAAR question #16 is incorrect.ough to have quality tests. Is TEA purposely providing poor quality tests? Sounds absurd, but there has to be some ulterior motive for the Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, to be pushing for the implementation of common core’s teacher monitoring system. Governor Perry hired Williams knowing that Williams is not qualified to be the director of all Texas Education. Why?  Maybe the next governor will hire someone who has the knowledge and  passion for educating our children.

Question #16 shown was on the 5th grade 2014 science STAAR test. The answer said to be correct is “J.” Forty two percent of Texas 5th grade students chose other answers. This means that 149,610 kids lost a point. This question is not correct and it is more confusing than rigorous.

Evaporation is not the correct answer. While evaporation is part of the process of water loss from plant leaves, the correct answer is transpiration.

Transpiration is the process by water is lost through the leaves of plants.

Actually, most Texas students are not taught much about water loss from plants. This is because most teachers and students in Texas do not have textbooks. Why?

About 80% of Texas school districts have been taken in by the false propaganda of the Texas Education Service Centers ESCs. For reasons known only to the directors of the ESCs, school administrators were told that the CSCOPE curriculum could replace textbooks. The CSCOPE curriculum was created and sold by the ESCs.

Know that the ESCs were originally established to help school districts.The state was divided into 20 regions with one ESC for each. When the state legislatures gave the ESCs the right to sell products, the focus of the ESCs changed from providing a service to SELLING products as well as services.

School districts trusted the ESCs to provide quality products and services. Thus, some school administrators and school boards purchased CSCOPE because it was being sold by the ESCs. There is no excuse for administrators tho continue to purchase the gutted CSCOPE curriculum, which is the same materials without lessons. This gutted program is called TRS Instructional Material.

Question #16 is about the structures of cactus that helps it to survive the arid (dry) desert climate.

The TEKS standard for this 5th grade STAAR science questions is:

TEKS 5.10A  Organisms and environments. The student knows that organisms undergo similar life processes and have structures that help them survive within their environments. The student is expected to:
(A)  compare the structures and functions of different species that help them live and survive such as hooves on prairie animals or webbed feet in aquatic animals;

In previous grades students learned:

4.10A) to  explore how adaptations enable organisms to survive in their environment such as comparing birds’ beaks and leaves on plants;

(3.10A)  to explore how structures and functions of plants and animals allow them to survive in a particular environment;

(2.10B)  observe, record, and compare how the physical characteristics of plants help them meet their basic needs such as stems carry water throughout the plant;

These TEKS give no clues to the ecosystems (biomes) to be present nor the plants and animals in each.

Forests: Tropical Rain Forests? Deciduous Forest? Coniferous Forests?
Grasslands: Temperate Grasslands? Tropical Grasslands?
Hot deserts? Cold deserts?
Tundra: Lowland Tundra? Highland Tundra?

The 20 Educational Service Centers were paid $200 million dollars to clarify all the science, math, social studies and ELAR TEKS for each grade–K-12. The state legislatures provide Rider 42 grant of $200 million so that teachers would have more information about the TEKS. The 20 ESCs  put together materials that they didn’t promote and a few Texas teachers attended the Rider 42 workshops. I have copies of this material and believe me it didn’t cost $200 million dollars to prepare it. No, this material does not clarify TEKS 5.10A so that teachers knew to teach 5th graders about transpiration or other structure adaptions for cactus.

While the ESCs were suppose to be preparing clarifying material for the TEKS, they were busy updating their produce, CSCOPE. Remember, schools who implemented CSCOPE stored their textbooks and didn’t purchase new books. So, CSCOPE materials is all teachers had. This is still true except now there are no CSCOPE lessons (no big loss since these lessons had so many errors). Since the name “CSCOPE” has such a negative reputation, the ESCs have changed their CSCOPE product name to TRS Instructional Material. Following is the TRS instruction material 5th grade teachers had last year for TEKS 5.10A.

The content of this Instructional Focus Document (IFD) is little more than materials copy and pasted from the Texas Education Agency’s website. Yet, Texas school superintendents and school board members not only implemented this material as the instructional curriculum for the school districts, but originally forced teachers to sign an agreement not to tell parents or others about the content of CSCOPE. Sign or don’t work.

All of this was presented to the Senate Education Committee during the hearing on CSCOPE. Yet, the ESCs are still in the business of selling Instruction materials that DO NOT prepare your children for the STAAR test much less for 6th grade curriculum.

Does your school district use TRS materials from the ESCs? Do your children have textbooks? What are your teachers using to prepare lessons?

Unit 11 TEKS 5.10A adaptations to environment

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