Students Should Not Take the STAAR Because
If students are failing and they pass the STAAR Tests–what then? Do these students progress to the next grade? Are they given credit for subjects they have failed all year? This is up to your school district. So, contact your school superintendent and find out. If these kids are to be failed regardless of their STAAR TESTS grades, what is the point of putting them through the test taking ordeal.
Parent Comment: Daughter was given an honor roll award one day. The next morning this same student was told she was failing because she had failed the STAAR reading/writing test.
Yes, this honor roll student was tutored and took the STAAR reading/writing tests again and could have gone through the same process again during the summer.
Know that the primary focus of Texas Public Schools is to prepare students for the STAAR TESTs. This begins in the first grade, in some schools it is kindergarten. Depending on the school, what is called regular class structure is stopped and students are drilled and tested–drilled and tested to make sure they are ready to pass the STAAR. Kids who are considered not STAAR ready are placed in intervention classes where more concentrated drilling and testing is done. With all this preparation, Texas students should be acing the STAAR tests. But alas they do not. Why?
Why are honor roll students failing the STAAR Tests?
Why isn’t all the drilling in preparation for the STAAR not working?
Two reasons Texas Students are failing the STAAR Tests are:
1. More than 80% of Texas public schools purchased the CSCOPE Managing System. CSCOPE is a K-12 instruction material created by the 20 Texas Education Service Centers, ESCs. CSCOPE contains unvetted lessons, assessments, and a scope and sequence for K-12 core subjects. Because the ESCs help make their own governing rules, these agencies have no real checks and balances on the millions of dollars given to them each year to help provide quality education for Texas students. Because the Texas Senate Education Committee exposed the flawed CSCOPE lessons, the ESCs are no longer allowed to sell these unvetted lessons. But, the ESCs are still allowed to sell the same CSCOPE assessments and the scope and sequence. All schools needed to complete the CSCOPE Instruction materials were the CSCOPE lessons. So, the ESCs gave these lessons to the Texas Public schools. Why would any school continue to use the CSCOPE lessons and continue at the same fee, to buy the gutted CSCOPE instruction materials.
You will have to ask your administrator this question, but some schools are not given a choice. Marlin ISD is my local school district and because this school district had poor administrators for many years, the discipline was so bad that teachers nor administrators would stay. Parents were not involved in anything except sports. Thus, the students were failing everything. So that high school age students were not still in elementary school, the school board passed the rule that kids could only fail so many times on each of the three campuses. Yes, Marlin ISD needed to be seized by TEA. Marlin ISD needed to be turned around. But alas, TEA was only concerned about the Special Education Program because this is where the big money is. The Federal Title programs shovel in lots of money to Special Education Programs. Now that the Federal Title programs are not so closely regulated, Millions of dollars are being spent on what is called professional development for teachers.
TEA seized Marlin ISD. But they sent a TEA conservator who worked as the director of special education at ESC Region 11 during the years that CSCOPE was dreamed up, developed, and implemented into Texas Schools. Yes, the TEA conservator’s improvement plan to turn Marlin ISD around was for the district to implement with fidelity the CSCOPE Managing System. Another mandate on the plan was to use Title I funds to pay for Lead Your School to provide professional development programs for the teachers at a cost of about $70.000/yr. Mandated programs that were not negotiable. This started in 2011-2012 and is still being mandated by TEA for 2013-2014. There are a few changes since the ESCs have changed the name of CSCOPE to TEKS Resource Managing System (TRS), which has the same CSCOPE Scope and Sequence. The CSCOPE assessments were questions from a software called Eduphoria. So, schools must pay a fee to use Eduphoria.
Marlin ISD did not take bids on Instruction Materials, instead TEA has been mandating that this district purchase the CSCOPE/TRS materials and to use them with fidelity. When Marlin ISD was forced to implement CSCOPE with fidelity, this included hiring CSCOPE instruction specialists. In 2011-2012 there were at least two CSCOPE instruction specialists on each of the three campuses, elementary, middle, and high school. The district also had to hire a district CSCOPE Instructional Specialist, who made sure the CSCOPE lessons were copied and are available for Marlin teachers. Since Marlin ISD’s enrollment is now under one thousand, the district is only mandated to have the district CSCOPE specialist and one CSCOPE instruction specialist on each campus.
TEA is forcing Marlin ISD to purchase and use with fidelity instructional material as well as assessments that have errors. These errors have been reported again and again. The Commissioner of Education has yet to respond. TEA keeps right on forcing Marlin ISD and other schools to purchase incorrect–unvetted instruction material from the Texas Education Service Centers. The legislatures just keep on campaigning and promising to do something. Not one has said what they are going to do.
The Biggest Joke is that Texas Will Never Implement Common Core.
CSCOPE/TRS is Common Core with a different name.
2. The second reason Texas Students failed the 5th grade Science STAAR Tests is because these tests were so incorrect.
So that you can confirm for yourself that something needs to be changed, I will start posting the science STAAR test question.
5th grade Science STAAR Test 2013 Released Test questions can be found on the TEA website.