STAAR Stars, Volume Two: the Best Get Pumped for the Test

Apr 4, 2016 by

Shore up your secondhand embarrassment allowance, because these Texas teachers up the dork factor in their schools’ STAAR test prep videos.

Even if you weren’t among those taking the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness this spring, these year-end standardized tests can be dispiriting. This year more than usual, probably: new testing vendor Educational Testing Service burst onto the scene by erasing some students’ answers partway through their tests. In the Texas Education Agency’s official statement on the muck-up, you could almost hear the tea-kettle steam-whistles from the ears of new education commissioner, and former software developer, Mike Morath, who said those “technical issues” were “simply unacceptable.”

But just few weeks ago, when we we all went about our days with the sanguine hope of youth, teachers and students were busy writing, choreographing, set-designing, singing, acting, dancing and digital video effect-ing, in the grand tradition of one of the real joys in public education: the annual motivational test-prep video.

There’s no doubt that we’re living in a golden age of pre-test productions. You can credit the democratization of video production, or YouTube or Glee, but the reason may be even simpler, and maybe our lawmakers deserve more credit for giving our state test such an evocative name. After all, who can look down at a test booklet and not feel the heat of the spotlights, or hear the roar of the crowd, as they turn the first page and read the word “STAAR”?

Source: STAAR Stars, Volume Two: the Best Get Pumped for the Test

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