STAAR Inhibits Education

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Was your child one of the 56,994 Texas fifth graders who missed Question #2 on the 2014 Science STAAR test?

5th grade 2014 Science STAAR #2The STAAR question shown here is something that every 5th grade students should have been taught.

The state standard for this question (TEKS 5.5B) clearly states that students are to know the freezing point and boiling point of water in Celsius degrees.

Why did so many Texas students miss this question?

Are all  Texas public schools providing quality education? 

According to TEA there are 111 Texas School Districts who are not providing your children with a quality education. These are called PEG schools because they are eligible for government grants. UUM! Is it profitable for being an underachieving school district?

TEA has a “Turn Around” program to help PEG schools get back on the right track. The problem is that the TEA conservators are paid by the school districts a handsome fee for their services. These conservators have the power to turn in reports leading to the loss of the school district’s accreditation. So a failing school district receives extra money and the TEA conservators have a well paid job helping the PEG schools. I wonder how long a school district can be on the PEG list. What is the incentive for improvement? Improvement means a loss of grant money. Is your school a PEG school? How has your school been on the PEG list?

What’s the Answer?

Parents if at all possible, join or start a Parent Teacher Organization and know what is going on at your school. Volunteer to help at the school when possible. Help teachers with science activities; let kids read to you; help young kids open their milk at lunch. Yes! The same hard to open milk cartoons are still served.

Parents your presence at school makes a difference. Plus you have first hand knowledge of what is being taught.

Request a textbook for each subject. Yes, schools have textbooks. I read the Harcourt Science text published in 2000 and found great information for each of the 2013 and 2014 STAAR test questions except using shadows to tell time.

Think about This:

The state standards (TEKS) for 5th grade science are said to be rigorous so that students will be prepared for the more rigorous STAAR test.

School is in session for 180 student days. According to the CSCOPE/TRS  Year At a Glance shown below, all the TEKS are taught in 120 days. The Year At a Glance  schedule is deceptive. It appears to have TEKS being presented during each of the six grading periods. This schedule is prepared by the Texas Educational Service Centers (ESCs) and SOLD to Texas school districts. The STAAR tests are given during the fifth grading period, thus  students only the first four grading periods (120 days) to prepare for the STAAR tests.

Are Texas students failing the science STAAR test because they are tested before teachers have time to introduce all the science concepts?

Why give the STAAR tests in April before students have had time to study all the science material? Because it allows school to tutor and retest the students who failed the STAAR reading and/or math test. STAAR testing is all about money and has nothing to do with educating your children.

Now school districts can force students in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 to go to summer school if they fail the reading and/or math STAAR test. It doesn’t matter if your child made all A’s in reading and math. Class grades are of no significance. Only the STAAR scores count.  School districts receive federal grant money for each student attending summer school. More students –more money. Thus, instead of offering the mandatory tutoring and retesting before the school term ends, it is financially advantageous to have students attend summer school.

Think about This:

Once the 5th science STAAR test is over, students who passed the reading and math STAAR tests are taught how to design science experiments.NOTE: 40% of the STAAR test is about science experiment process skills. So students learn this after they take the STAAR test. Students who are being tutored to retake reading and math STAAR test are not taught these science process skills.The STAAR test monopolizes Texas education. Has the STAAR testing benefited the students in your school district? The STAAR appears to inhibit education. What is the real reason for this test?
CSCOPE 5th Science Year At a Glance

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