Falling STAAR: Part 3

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TEA’s STAAR tests are designed to fail students.

Falling STAAR Broken Pencil
Not all students are able to achieve the “high level” of thinking that the STAAR tests are said to evaluate.
The STAAR test questions are suppose to be on the application and analysis level of understanding.
This is good for high school, but elementary school should be as its name indicates–ELEMENTARY. The foundation is being skipped. Have any of the TEA representatives taken child development? How about the Commissioner of Education, what is his background? Teacher? Principal? Superintendent? Why would the governor of Texas appoint someone without experience in education to be the Commissioner of Education? Does Governor Perry have a clue what the commissioner of education is suppose to do?

What does the Commissioner of Education know about the STAAR/EOC tests?

What do you know about these tests? Find out by reading the seven part series written by Ann Work at the TimesRecordnews.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third report of a seven-day series on the STAAR Test.

Another educator who declined to be named in print because of her decades of experience throughout Texas education said she believes STAAR is more rigorous than any other version of the state assessment. Questions require a student to take five to eight cognitive steps to solve questions, compared to the earlier TAKS version of the test, which required one or two.

 I’ve evaluated the 2013 5th grade STAAR science tests and did not find any of the questions to require five to eight cognitive steps to solve questions. What passes as rigor was added unnecessary reading, examples that 5th grade students did not relate to, questions without any correct answers and some with multiple correct answers. Janice VanCleave

STAAR questions are “not really tricky but deeper and more complex. The rigor is across the board,” she said.

But that IS a problem, she added.

“Our concern is lack of teacher training and the number of teachers we have in the field who do not have enough content background of their own to frame it for students. We see this at all grade levels. All,” she said.

Teaching at this level requires a paradigm shift because STAAR scores show all students are struggling, she said.


Who ever heard of a talking pineapple?

If you were an eighth grader in New York in 2012, you learned about one on your state assessment, which was written by Pearson, the same worldwide education company that writes the Texas STAAR test.

“In olden times, the animals of the forest could speak English just like you and me,” began Pearson’s talking pineapple question. “One day, a pineapple challenged a hare to a race. (I forgot to mention, fruits and vegetables were able to speak, too).”

Find the entire reading by doing an Internet search of the “talking pineapple question.”

RELATED: See the actual Talking Pineapple question here from a New York state assessment, along with its follow-up questions

“All hell broke loose because the passage was so poorly written and the questions about it so incomprehensible,” wrote Bellwether Education co-founder Andrew J. Rotherham in his blog, “What Everyone Missed on the Pineapple Question.”

Apparently, Pearson put the pineapple question through a regular review process and had used it since 2004 in nine states, according to a New York state government employee who explained the process for Rotherham

There is so much more about Pearson and talking Pineapples as well as more STAAR news at Falling STAAR: TimesRecordNews

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  1. This is why Rick Perry isn’t running again. Between Parents opting out of STAAR testing and the CSCOPE scandal. Texas Education system is broken. Yes. I am a republican but I am glad to see Rick Perry stepping down and letting someone else run. Hopefully we will see some much needed education reform in Texas. I know my child is in special education its like pulling teeth to get services in Texas public schools. I glad someone stepped up and notified the public about what STAAR and CSCOPE and where our tax dollars are going.