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Texas Legislators Again Hurting School Children

Apr 25, 2017 by

“Texas Legislators Again Hurting School Children”

By Donna Garner

4.25.17

 

Okay, Texas legislators, go ahead and scale back the STAAR tests; but do not come crying to the public years later because Texas students cannot write and do not know any history!  

 

Without the STAAR/End-of-Course Tests to serve as a type of  “measuring stick,” how are parents or anyone else going to know whether students have been taught and whether they have mastered the course content mandated by the Texas Education Code?  

 

Without a “measuring stick” that is closely aligned to the Texas curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education, how will anyone know whether students have mastered the basic content knowledge of the TEKS or whether students have had a grand, old time playing games on their techie devices all day long at school?

 

Without a “measuring stick” built upon objective data, how will anyone know whether a school is a quality school academically or whether it simply has done a great job of “selling” to the public a well-devised marketing image?

 

If students are evaluated on nationally normed tests (e.g., SAT, ACT, etc.) which are NOT aligned with the day-to-day curriculum standards adopted by Texas, how is that fair for students and teachers?  Besides that, the nationally normed tests are now aligned with the Common Core Standards which have been forbidden by the Texas Attorney General and HB 462 to be taught in Texas public schools (passed by the 83rd Legislative Session — http://tinyurl.com/lcjwb5r).  

 

No, the TEKS are not perfect nor are the STAAR and End-of-Course Tests; but at least they are products put together by Texans for Texas public school students; and Texans have direct authority over those products – not some nationally affiliated Common Core, money-making profiteers!  

 

Texas Legislators, please do not further erode the education reform efforts in our state by taking away any vestige of accountability for both students and their teachers. Humans tend to sink or rise to whatever expectations are set for us. With fake news surrounding us and very disturbing cultural and political indoctrination rampant in our nation, now is not the time to turn out Texas high-school graduates who are not academically equipped independently to become solid American citizens and well-informed voters.    

 

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4.25.17 — “Will Texas Continue Scaling Back Its Dependence on STAAR Tests?”

By Eva-Marie Ayala

 

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2017/04/25/will-texas-continue-scaling-back-dependence-staar-tests

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

Texas lawmakers seem determined to chip away at standardized testing requirements as the House Public Education Committee on Monday sent out a bill that would significantly reduce the number of STAAR tests kids have to take.

The bill would eliminate standardized tests in areas not required by the federal government. That would mean reducing high school end-of-course exams down from five to three —cutting U.S. history and one writing test — as well as getting rid of writing tests in fourth and seventh grades. The eighth-grade social studies tests would also be cut. The bill now goes before the House for consideration.

In 2011, the state was on track for high schoolers to take 15 end-of-course exams and have those tests make up 15 percent of students’ overall grades for a class. But parents and educators organized against the plan.

So in 2013, lawmakers cut the 15 percent provision and reduced the required number of end-of-course tests to five.

Then, last session, the Legislature approved a trial run of so-called individual graduation committees that allow seniors who fail up to two end-of-course exams to earn a diploma if a panel of their parents and selected educators approves their appeal.

That committee provision was set to expire this year, but a bill making it permanent is expected to pass the Senate this week.

Meanwhile, today the House Public Education Committee will hear a bill by Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, that also takes on standardized testing. Among other things, it would: reduce the number of standardized tests; allow districts to use STAAR-alternatives for accountability; and prohibit districts from using standardized testing performance in teacher evaluations. A lawsuit filed by various teacher groups over using STAAR in evaluations heads to court this spring.

a bill by Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, is advancing that would require districts to disclose how much they are spending on STAAR testing. It will soon go before the House.

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9 Comments

  1. Julie

    Really.?? So explain why AB honor role students are not doing well on these measuring sticks? These standardized tests are not aligned with curriculum and are more harmful than they are worth.

  2. Dana

    You my dear, are an idiot. You should really do your research before writting about such things. You have it all backwards.

  3. Carol Robinson

    You are aware that Texas is 43rd in the national ranking in education? The massive amount of testing that our students must endure takes away valuable instruction time. In TX, new material is taught September – December. Beginning in January, every school moment is spent teaching to the STAAR ‘test’ – which means absolutely NOTHING to the student unless, of course, they are in grades 5 or 8. At some point, one would think that even our legislators would realize that something different desperately needs to be done. STOP THE TESTING AND ALLOW OUR STUDENTS TO LEARN.

  4. The only “money making profiteers” are the STAAR test makers! You are wrong, Donna Garner. Our kids are not playing all day on their “techie devices” (have you even been in a classroom lately!?). The real marketing ploy is that the schools are going to help our kids learn and grow, when in reality, they teach based on the test and have totally made elementary school awful, for children, teachers and parents! Legislators and you, Donna, need to get out of the pocket of big money.

    • Carol Robinson

      I have a feeling that some of our legislators are also making profits off this, Shari!

  5. These tests are not a viable or valid measure of a student’s ability to write, not are they a valid measure of content knowledge in math, science, or social studies. The questions are deceptive, ambiguous, and sometimes have no viable correct answer. If you want an accurate picture of student learning, use the pre-test scores and final exams of students for the courses you are interested in evaluating. These tests should be norm referenced, use no archaic language or confusing sentence structure and be based on direct content in that teacher’s classroom. Only then will you get an accurate picture of what a student has done in that class.

    • Sean Kennedy

      The STAAR testing is based only around $$$$$$. If they are going to insist on students taking it, then the teachers and administration should have to take it and pass it first to keep their positions. Most teachers I have spoken with admit to not being able to grade it at all without the answer key. I opted my kids out every year. Parents have the final say, thank God!
      “Measuring stick”…what a joke! That’s like asking all men to line up and measure their penises so we can grade them on their performance beforehand. (no pun intended…well, maybe a small one!)

  6. Laurie

    You’re an idiot!! These tests show us nothing about what the child knows! All it shows is if the student can take a test. It doesn’t show if a teacher is good or not either! They all need to go away period!! These tests are the worst things that have ever happened to education. Let the teachers teach!

  7. Zarec

    For someone who supposedly is an ex-teacher you sure don’t understand anything about common core.

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