To Test Or Not To Test In Texas Schools

1290 words - 6 pages

Standardized testing in Texas public schools has parents and teachers furious. It is an argument of Texas Legislature versus those who oppose. Student will take about 17 of these tests before entering high school (Smith A17A). Texas schools are currently conflicted with taking the STAAR tests as it brings upon many arguments. The disadvantages seem to rule out the few advantages test makers tried to pass. Rather than helping students see where they stand, it makes students feel as if they do not stand a chance.
The reason for high stakes testing in schools was to see where students stood academically. It was made to check on the progress and status of whether teachers and staff were doing their job as they are responsible for a child’s learning. In 2002, George W. Bush passed the No Child Left Behind Act. Each state had to come up with their own testing systems for students to meet certain standards. This was influenced by Red Paige who was superintendent at Houston I.S.D. Accountability was their main goal with this kind of testing. Texas tests are created by Sandy Kress who teamed up with Pearson. The current test outraging the opposed side is the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) test. Kress came up with this test because people felt that the previous TAKS test was not helping students with college readiness. The STAAR test counts towards 15% of a student’s grade (Blakeslee 126). It is a harder test and Texas is a state with the most exit level exams as it is. Even though people disagree with this test even more, Kress and his followers believe that the test is not failing students, but their teachers are. Defenders can be pretty harsh and blunt about why the STAAR should stay. Bill Hammond made a statement when he had a banner flown that read “Is 37% correct on Algebra too hard?” (Blakeslee 222)
With testing in each grade level as early as 3rd grade, Texas is able to rank their schools to see progress or problems. Most of time when schools are below requirements and does not gain rank for a period of time that school is evaluated. This can result in teachers being fired or even shutting down the school. Isn’t this a little harsh? The way Texas test makers and supporters see it is just cracking down on teachers and staff that are not doing their job. The goal is to ensure a student is prepared for their future, so if they do not pass these tests or meet requirements, they cannot move forward. There have been some minimal improvement shown by ranks such as the minority scores and Anglo scores have shortened in gap.
With knowing that Texas Legislation had good intentions on passing the STAAR, teachers are definitely not too happy about it. The biggest problem is that preparing for these subject tests take up most of class curriculum. It is almost impossible to actually learn lasting knowledge when teachers are trying to teach student not what to learn from these tests, but how to pass them. “The goal of education...

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