STAAR/EOC Report Fraud

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Texas Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, proudly promotes the lie that STAAR/EOC Tests Assess Student Achievement  Commissioner Williams

The Commissioner said, “It’s encouraging to see ongoing improvement in core subjects such as Algebra I and Biology as students and teachers adapt to the higher rigor of STAAR.”  “Academic success for our students today strengthens the Texas of tomorrow.”

Why is the commissioner misleading the public with the lie that the EOC tests indicate academic success for Texas students? Does the Commissioner know how the scale scores for the STAAR/EOC tests are determined?

According to Commissioner Williams, in preliminary statewide results for the 2013–2014 school year for first-time testers, Texas students posted the highest statewide passing rate in Biology. The 93 percent passing rate also represented the largest increase (six percentage points) over results from the previous school year.

Why is the Texas Commissioner of Education Covering Up the Fact that Texas Students are not passing the STAAR/EOC tests, instead they are given passing scale scores? Is this to cover up the fact that the STAAR/EOC tests, much like the CSCOPE tests, have errors, are many questions are not rigorous just confusing and wordy?

Commissioner Williams should be reporting that to pass the 2012 and 2013 Biology EOC tests, students only had to answer correctly 20 out of the 54 test questions.This is a grade of 37%.  This might make Commissioner Williams smile proudly, but I want pre-med students going to college to know more than 37% of the biology concepts.

What Commissioner Williams is not revealing to the public is that the STAAR and EOC tests are not valid. So why is the commissioner covering up the fact that the Biology EOC tests do not assess the ability of our Texas students? Is it because the STAAR/EOC tests are such a big money making business that even the Commissioner of Education has no real authority to stop this testing?

Why is the Federal Government paying for summer school STAAR/EOC re-mediation and re-testing?
Chilton ISD has a district policy that all students who fail the STAAR/EOC must go to summer school. Honor Roll students are failing the STAAR/EOC tests even with their low failing scores. In Chilton ISD, a banquet was given in the evening to give honor roll students metals. Parents of many of these honored students attended the banquet with a heavy heart because the principals informed them that their children were going to summer school because they failed a STAAR/EOC test. Has Chilton found a way to bring in more federal money? I wonder if the parents of elementary students that failed the STAAR understand that their children will be in special classes next year? The school has to carry through with the punishment for failing the STAAR. Thus, a 4th grade student who made all A’s in math but failed the 4th grade STAAR Math test goes to summer school. In the fall, this honor roll students will be in a special class for students who do not understand math. It is called an accelerated math class. Sounds like a class for gifted students, but it is just another way to mislead and confuse parents.

The number of correct answers to pass the 2014 Biology test has not been posted by TEA yet. Were fewer than 20 correct answers needed? Is that why the percent passing rate increased?

Ditto is all I have to say about the Algebra I EOC passing grades. Like Biology EOC tests, to pass  the Algebra I EOC test students only needed 20 our of the 54 questions.

Fraud is a deliberate deception. Is it correct to say that the STAAR/EOC reports are fraudulent? Am I correct that announcing that 93% of the Texas students taking the Biology EOC test pass is deceptive when students only had to answer correctly 20 of the 54 questions? School districts are receiving honors because their students are passing the EOC tests.

Why isn’t the Texas Commissioner of Education investigating this?

Is the Texas Commissioner of Education just a title? No bark and certainly no bite! Just smile for the camera and repeat the praise  reports from TEA and Pearson

Biology EOC Raw Scores=percent

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  1. A Concerned Person says:

    1. The passing standards are being phased in over a multi-year plan. This plan was in place well before the first STAAR test was administered, and all information is available publicly. Since it appears the author is not aware of this fact, I would recommend she start her research here:

    Because this information is public knowledge, I am confident that the commissioner is, in fact, aware of the details of the situation.

    2. Standardized tests in general, including ones in other states or countries, do not adhere to the convention of “70% of items correct = passing”. Instead, they use statistical models to distribute student scores along a range other than 0-100. A discussion of exactly why this is done and the details of how TEA implemented such a system is definitely beyond the scope of an internet comment box. Again, the above link is a fine source of information on this topic. I will say, though, that the fact that the author is arguing that the raw score percent correct doesn’t directly correlate to pass/fail is indicate of ignorance regarding statistics as it relates to standardized assessments.

    3. I do not see evidence that the STAAR has errors. I did see an article regarding the wording on a 5th grade science test where the author (same as this article) made a semantics argument to attempt to prove that the question was invalid. Without getting into the ludicrous nature of her argument–and the fact that more than 3/4ths of 5th graders felt the answer that the author has issues with was correct–I will say that I would assume, given the fairly large set of released test items, that any author claiming the STAAR has error”s” (plural) would be able to cite multiple examples. Instead, we get one grasping-at-straws attempt. Where are these errors?

    4. I find it hard to believe this anecdote regarding a student who made straight A’s in math class but failed the STAAR math test. Do you happen to have any sort of documentation or evidence that this actually happened?

  2. A teacher who knows says:

    This article not only makes sense, but raises a valid point. Judging from your comment, I can only deduce that you never read the article. Ms. VanCleave is one of the leading researchers in the state on the actual STAAR questions. She is highly qualified to comment on this topic. I support her proposition that parents are being seriously misled by the STAAR testing. Thank you, Janice Vancleave, for your valuable work and reporting on this topic. Keep fighting for the students.

  3. JANICE VANCLEAVE is clueless says:

    Any person who knows anything about standardized testing (or any educational assessment) knows that percent correct has absolutely nothing to do with the difficulty of a test or the rigor of the standards. The author loses all credibility and shows her ignorance in this post. Shameful that it gets posted/published anywhere.