Evaluating STAAR Question #40

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Texas TEKS are said to be more Rigorous. STAAR is more RigorousSTAAR

What is rigor?

I’ve studied the 5th grade science 2013 STAAR test and it appears that rigor means unnecessary information is added to questions. This is not rigor, this is an attempt to confuse students.

Question #40 from the 2013 Science STAAR test has incorrect information added. Even what is considered the correct answer is not exactly the correct process. The force of the water sprayed on the salted concrete pushes the salt crystals away.

Question #40 is not Valid.

It appears that there is an attempt to add what is called “Rigor” to the STAAR tests but in the case of question #40 shown below, the added rigor was not correct and gave information that led students to choose answers other than the one determined incorrect answers.

Question #40 has added rigor but the the description of the process of salt printing in concrete is incorrect. Also, salt printing is not commonly used because the salt is corrosive. Instead, patterns are more commonly pressed into the concrete —-but not when the concrete is wet.

This is not a fair question. 26% of the students chose answers that were possible for the information given.

Answer G. The salt turned into concrete is a reasonable choice for a 5th grader. Since the concrete is said to be wet when the salt is added, with the knowledge of a 5th grader, the salt would have dissolved in the wet concrete.

Answer J. The salt turned into a solid is possible, like answer G, a 5th grade student could assume the salt dissolved in the wet concrete and solidified with the concrete.

5th 2013 #40 Salt in Concrete


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  1. Scott Klump says:

    Wondering why my comments are never posted. Does the truth really hurt that much?

  2. The whole process doesn’t make sense – the salt would dissolve in the wet concrete in the first place.

    • Janice VanCleave says:

      B Self,
      I agree. The salt would dissolve in the wet concrete.

      Why would TEA use an incorrect process? Common sense should have kicked in.

      There are many errors on the 5th 2013 Science STAAR tests. Why? I have been asking the TEA ASSESSMENT Group about these errors,
      but they will no longer respond to me.

      The STAAR tests grades are very important and TEA seems not to be taking the test very serious.