Journalism student analyzes changes in state testing

Allie Davis

Elliot Gordon, Journalism student

In the past year of 2012 the Texas Education Agency changed the state mandated tests from the TAKS to the STAAR. This made me think, why does the state keep making the tests harder if more and more people are struggling with school. Why raise the bar when the students aren’t ready for a step up? And yet the state department wonders why so many people did not meet a passing grade on the state mandated test (STAAR).

I agree that the state needs to test and make sure students aren’t falling behind. But when the tests are getting harder and the proper curriculum is not being brought up in schools, how do they expect students to pass. Many school districts have complained against the STAAR test being enforced; many parents are frustrated and students are stressed out. The state went through a lot of trouble to enforce the STAAR and all it did was stir up trouble in the education systems of Texas.

I am concerned about the STAAR test and I am scared for the future of my education and my grades. If I am not taught what the state expects me to learn, then how will I pass the test? The state needs to fit the test around what is taught and not what they want taught.

Ever since the 80’s, Texas has enforced a state mandated test to make sure students are caught up and not falling behind. Over the years, tests have evolved and changed to meet with changing education programs and changing students. I think that the change from TAKS to STAAR has been unnecessary and unwanted. Texas school districts have not dramatically changed over the past five years. Many school districts have stated that they do not welcome the new test and teachers say that they were not properly prepared for the test and could not properly prepare students for the test.

The need and want to change to the STAAR test is absent. The difficulty was raised when teachers and students were not prepared. The proper curriculum to help students prepare for these tests remain absent in schools and therefore students cannot be prepared. The STAAR test needs to be replaced with a test that fit’s the curriculum that is being taught.

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