Stop STAAR Madness

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Will Someone Please Listen!

 STOP STAAR Maddness
The STAAR tests start March 30 and continues through April. During the weeks of testing, regular school schedules are not followed. Thus, teachers have to make sure that all the TEKS for the school years are covered prior to the beginning of the STAAR tests.
Texas requires 180 days for each school year. Our legislatures need to change this because our students are not receiving 180 days of instruction because of the STAAR testing.
Look at the 5th grade yearly schedule that more than 800 Texas school superintendents and school board members pay their local Education Service Center for. Notice that it has two large units of science scheduled during the 5th Six-Weeks and has experimental design scheduled during the 6th Six-Weeks.
Teachers are mandated to use this schedule school districts purchase from the ESCs
1. The STAAR tests are given during the 5th Six-Weeks of School. Regularly schedule classes are disrupted–
Students take the STAAR tests without having covered the  Units scheduled for the 5th and 6th Six-Weeks Grading Periods.
3. The STAAR Science Test include all the science process skills scheduled to be taught during the 6th week of school.
Why does TEA schedule the STAAR tests before students have studied all the TEKS covered on the tests?
5th Grade Science Year At a Glance
By the time students are in the 8th grade they are so far behind the Commissioner of Education sets the passing scores for the STAAR tests very low.
Think About it: 
Every year students are taught for four 6-wks then tested. Thus every year, Texas students get further behind.
Think About It:
The STAAR tests are one-size-fits all. All students, including those with learning disabilities receive the same instructions and take the same STAAR tests. This is called INCLUSION, meaning that students of all ability levels are in the same class. Sadly students with learning disabilities get further behind every day, and gifted students are used as teacher aids in an effort to help students needing one-on-one instruction. With inclusion, All students lose out on a quality education.
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  1. Concerned mom says:

    We are so frustrated with the state and what it is doing to our teachers and students. For an 8th grade math teacher needing to add 25pt curves to all students’ tests them there is a problem. This is a teacher who was once considered an awesome teacher to her former students because they learned so much. Now she is doing everything possible just to make them pass. Survival of the fittest for her. Sad thing is our students are not able to learn anything. Slope in 8th grade? Are you kidding me?! What is the state trying to do here? TEKS are impossible to reach for the teachers! We are seriously considering pulling all 4 our children out of school to be homeschooled. Math is ridiculous and it is sad that we have to think of doing this when 3 of our children are GT students! I hate the amount of stress, tears, and fears in our students and teachers!!

    • Janice VanCleave says:

      To Concerned Mom,
      My suggestion is to opt out of the STAAR tests and homeschool your children for the
      remainder of this school year. At this time of year Texas schools are giving student
      benchmark tests. Some schools are giving the 2014 STAAR released tests. Four hour tests
      over all the TEKS required for the entire school year. It is January and about half of
      the TEKS have not bee taught. What is the point?

      If your children have passing grades, they should not take the STAAR. Failing the reading or math STAAR forces
      them to be retested. Thus, they do not attend regular classes for the remaining of the school year. This is so
      they can be prepared to pass the retest. If they fail they go to summer school and try again. If they fail again,
      the school administration can decide on whether your child is promoted or retained. If promoted he/she will be
      in special classes –or so they say. Actually, your children’s grades on the STAAR are for ever on some data base.
      In fact, everything your child does is recorded on some data base—where is all this data and who has access to it?

      If your children have passing grades and you remove them from school before the STAAR test to homeschool,you can choose to enroll them in the next grade when school starts in the fall. Homeschool students do not have to take the STAAR tests. In fact, there are some school districts in Texas that are not required to take the STAAR tests. Why?

      You are observing that good teachers are not allowed to use their skills to teach their students. They are being forced to give tests that they know their students will fail. WHY? Notice that more money is always given as the answer. The real answer is for our Texas Independent School Districts to just say no and to do what they are suppose to do, which is to teach our children. There is no excuse for school districts to fail. Teachers are blamed. If teachers are not doing their job, start at the top and find out why these teachers were hired.