Falling STAAR: Part I

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Falling or Failing?
The truth is that because of the STAAR tests Texas Students are being failed.

Boys Labors Over STAAR TESTStudents that fail the STAAR tests can be failed no matter their class grades.

Are students failing the STAAR because they do not know the answers?

Or

Are students failing the STAAR because the STAAR test questions are vague, verbose, and some even incorrect?

To make up for the poor quality of the Pearson/TEA STAAR tests, Pearson sets the passing scores at a very low level. Even so, choosing the right answer is not always easy when there are no right answers.

Ann Work, reporter for TimesRecordNew.com has written a series of revealing articles about the Texas STAAR/EOC tests. The first of this series starts below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first report of a seven-day series on the STAAR Test.
Ann Work, TimesRecordNews

Lengths Teachers Go to Prep for the STAAR

When Wichita Falls ISD teacher Jamie Morgan began teaching her Alamo Elementary fourth-graders the test strategies that would help them pass the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness reading test this year, she observed an odd phenomenon.

Morgan was carefully showing her students how to label paragraphs, underline key words and circle facts. They would need such tips to help them wade through the lengthy STAAR readings and remember key points, then answer several questions that follow it.

But after a few minutes, she watched the 9-year-olds’ eyes glaze over and anger creep into their questions.

Her class was turning on her.

“Guys, I’m not the bad guy,” Morgan said.

True, she was replacing the challenging, provocative readings they’d been immersed in all year with the pedantic, methodical test prep. True, chapter books by choice authors like Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling had been set aside for black-and-white STAAR practice worksheets.

SO WHAT ARE TEXAS TEACHERS DOING INSTEAD OF TEACHING? ANN WORK HAS THE ANSWER. 

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Comments

  1. We must take a stand for our students.

    I feel like a failure, because my students are not passing.

    I know my students knew the TEKS, but they are so young. They are tricked by multi-step questions.

  2. Maybe someone should fight for our students. Test questions that are not developmentally appropriate for the age of the student.

    Why are questions kept so secret?