Is the STAAR Test Hurting Children? YES!
Following is a note from a parent whose child has failed the STAAR 2014 reading test. I receive comparable notes from other parents. Since I know that the 2013 5th Science STAAR has many errors, is the STAAR reading test a valid assessment of a student’s ability to read? Something is wrong with our Texas education system when one test is being used to fail elementary students. It doesn’t matter if children make As all year–fail that STAAR reading and you fail.
WHY SEND CHILDREN TO PUBLIC SCHOOL ALL YEAR IF ONE TEST DETERMINES IF THEY PASS OR FAIL?
COMMENT FROM A PARENT
I JUST RECIEVED WORD THAT MY A-HONORAL SON HAS FAILED THE READING PORTION AND IT BREAKS MY HEART CAUSE HE HAS BEEN STRESSING ABOUT THISFOR MONTHS. I HAVE TO BREAK IT TO HIM TONIGHT THAT HE WILL BE GOING ON TO THE NEXT GRADE BUT WILL HAVE TO TUTORIALS STARTING THIS SUMMER. NO CHILD SHOULD FEEL STRESSED OR HAVE THIS KIND OF HEAVY BURDEN, ITS NOT HEALTHY AND ITS AFFECTING HIS/HER CONFINDENCE AND SELF ESTEEM. THEY SHOULD STOP THIS STAR TESTING BEFORE MORE AND MORE CHILDREN WILL EITHER QUIT SCHOOL OR COMMITT SUICIDE OVER THIS.
On the day a STAAR test is administered, schools all over the state go into lockdown.
Parents aren’t allowed in the building. No visitors — period. No bringing your child lunch. Walls are papered over to cover anything that might give clues to STAAR answers.
Students meticulously break the seal on their test booklet and are cued when to begin. They hunker over their tests for up to four hours. Their teachers — who have never seen the test and aren’t allowed to look at it — keep children on task without answering any questions.
Hall monitors escort one child at a time to the bathroom. Students in a grade level that is not testing sit quietly in a study hall or watch movies. The formidable aura of testing pervades the building.
“Testing day is unhealthy,” said veteran teacher Mary Bowen. “Just talking about it gives me a feeling in the pit of my stomach. This is the United States of America. Kids don’t lose their civil rights when they walk into a school building.”
Bowen is one of the rare teachers who has now taught through all four versions of the state test — TABS, TAAS, TAKS and now STAAR.
She was there when state testing began in 1980 as a way to weed out poor teachers. That was 34 years ago.
“Our schools should be a glorious makeover of all these wonderful teachers,” Bowen said. “Here’s what it’s actually done. It’s driven the good teachers out…because why would someone who believes in what education can be want to be part of merely the dry factorization of schools?”
For more see —An In-depth Look at the STAAR TEST