STAAR Test Fails Students

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STAAR Test Fails Student Are Students Failing the STAAR TESTS?

Or, Is the STAAR Test Failing Students?

Students who took the 5th grade 2013 Science STAAR test were cheated.

The 2013 5th grade science STAAR Test has many errors. Thus, student grades reported for this tests are not valid. Marlin Elementary has not done well on the state exams for a long time. Has anyone been reporting to TEA that something might be wrong with the quality of the state tests?

I’ve been reporting errors to TEA for more than a year, but get no response or a response defending the reported errors.

Marlin State Test Summary 2007-2013With your help, something can be done. TEA is not going to admit to making errors because it means they have to revise student grades. Yes, this would be at great expense. Are students failing and attending summer school because the STAAR Tests are incorrect?

I am reviewing the 5th grade Science STAAR tests. Other released STAAR tests also need to be reviewed. You can find these tests with answer keys on the TEA website.

Following is one of many 5th grade STAAR Science Questions that is incorrect. A test is a teaching tool. The questions are to be worded so that students learn more about the content being assessed. Test question #29 below teaches incorrect information. It is not cool temperatures that trigger leaves to drop. I’ve marked items in the question that are not correct or are not the best choices for the question.

Fifth Science STAAR Test Error #29

1. An increase in average wind speed would have been a better choice if rigor is what is desired.

2. Autumn would have been a better choice of terms.

3. Many trees  should be replaced with deciduous trees or some trees.

4. Cooler temperature is not what triggers leaves to fall from deciduous trees. Instead, it is the decrease in daylight hours. 

The cooler temperature is responsible for the production of the red pigment in autumn leaves. But Texas trees drop their leaves when the temperature is still very hot.

5. TEKS 5.9A is listed for this question.

Know that Texas students in many public schools are not given science textbooks. This is because some of the State Board of Education members, Senators on the State Senate Education Committee, All Texas Education Service Centers as well as the Texas Education Agency are promoting the idea that Texas schools must use 21st Century Technology Methods. This has been interpreted as using online resources, online books, online curriculum, online everything. Printed textbooks are promoted as being “old school.” Printed books not  aligned with the Texas TEKS are useless. If you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it. Now who would want only online instruction materials to be purchased? UUUUM!

I have an idea. Maybe the people who sell online programs are promoting the idea that printed books are bad. Now who might that be?
Microsoft maybe? People who are paid by Microsoft to lobby for online programs? WOW! Thomas Ratliff is a paid lobbyists for Microsoft. Do you think this is why Mr. Ratliff promotes the online CSCOPE products? Maybe?

It is not news that Texas allows a lobbyists for Microsoft to be vice-chairman of the State Board of Education. No, it is not legal. But being legal doesn’t matter if no one does anything about it. Also, when legislatures write bills read them carefully. If they are dictating rules that are easily misinterpreted, they are just pacifying the public. Vote this person out. If the bill doesn’t include rules but no consequences, it is useless. Vote this person out. Unfortunately, Texas education includes lots of rules and regulations, but only the most honorable abide by them. Sadly, our Commissioner of Education worked with the Texas Education Service Centers to write rules for the ESCs and School administrators with no consequences. It was all for show.

It is time for Texans to air all this “dirty laundry.” We are proud of our state, but we must bite the bullet and expose the graft and corruption in our Texas Education System. Our students are graduating without the abilities to fill out applications for jobs. This is all being swept under the rug. Let’s throw away the rug and sweep out all the trash. Our children deserve the best education. It is not for lack of money. Instead, money is not reaching the classroom.

The TEKS for 5th grade science are pathetic. Who wrote these standards? Who approved these standards? The State Board of Education is given the final word on passing the TEKS, but this board no longer has any TEETH. They are like an old pitbulls with no teeth. All bark but no bite. The SBOE is basically blamed but no longer has any power to make any changes. Parents can make things better. Concerned citizens can make things better. Even the worst politician will bend to the demands of the public.

Back to the TEKS

Science TEKS for every grade can be found on the TEA Website

The TEKS for STAAR question #29 is:

TEKS 5.9  Organisms and environments. The student knows that there are relationships, systems, and cycles within environments. The student is expected to: (A)  observe the way organisms live and survive in their ecosystem by interacting with the living and non-living elements;

Seriously, this is what 5th grade science teachers are suppose to use to prepare students for STAAR Question #29.

Since this TEKS is so vague, the 20 Texas Education Service Centers wrote CSCOPE and one of its selling points was that for every grade and subject, specificities for every TEKS was provided. In  the words of CSCOPE directors, the TEKS were unpackaged  so that teachers could understand them. Following is how CSCOPE unpackaged TEKS 5.9A. The TEKS is printed in black type and the CSCOPE unpacking is in blue type.

Schools are still paying the ESCs about $7.00 per student per year for this information. Yes, this is what the TEA is forcing Marlin ISD to purchase and use with fidelity. Do you see any information that would direct 5th grade teachers to do their own research to find out why autumn leaves fall off of deciduous trees? In my opinion, this 5th grade science TEKS gives no clue for preparing students for #29.

So, Texas 5th grade teachers are not given standards that identify science content on STAAR TESTs.

Observe the way organisms live and survive in their ecosystem by interacting with the living and non-living elements.


Including, but not limited to:

Interacting with living elements


Interacting with nonliving elements

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  1. […] Example of a 5th grade 2013 Science STAAR Test Error–Question #29 […]