Mxwell Texas

Shooting STAAR

A rant on the failed school system of standardized testing. And what the Newly elected president can do to end it.

Dear: Mr.Trump/Madame President

On the off chance that the union didn’t collapse the moment you were sworn in, I have a few grievances to share with you on the subject of standardized testing which, in my opinion, is one of the many reasons the school system of this nation is ranked seventeenth in the world. Right now, high stakes standardized tests like the STAAR in Texas, or the CAHSEE in California are treating children like a way to make sure the school keeps on getting funding so the teachers can continue to get underpaid. This system, claiming to monitor teachers for the good of the children has ultimately failed, and only you can reverse that.

This school system is horrid for multiple reasons. Among them is standardized testing (and, of course, the slew of letters from the school I’m currently at. They’re all the same fundamentally with the same structure, the same subjects, and the same format.  These tests don’t monitor a child’s academic growth, they measure whether or not the teachers should get paid. The students are taught what’s on the test, and not what’s required of them in the private, or the political sector. I remember reading a cartoon in the paper once. A man fresh out of college stands in front of Human resources. HR asks him what his skills are, and he responds: “Tests. I’m good at taking tests.”

“But standardized tests are inclusive and non-discriminatory because they ensure content is equivalent for all students.” The school board says, ignoring the fact that they are unfair and discriminatory against non English speakers and students with special needs. I’d love to see you explain to someone that they should bubble in a small circle as carefully as possible even though they have the motor skills and mental capacity of a two year old at the ripe age of twelve. Let’s also mention the fact that some non english speakers have to take the tests (all written in english) before they’ve even mastered the language.

In all honesty, Our educational system needs reform more than anything and only you can do it. Congrats on the presidency, and thank you for your time.

Works Cited

Bruce Jacobs, "No Child Left Behind's Emphasis on 'Teaching to the Test' Undermines Quality Teaching,” Endeavors, Dec. 2007

"No Child Left Behind Act." SpringerReference. Print.

Olson, Lynn. "Study Questions Reliability Of Single-Year Test-Score Gains." - Education Week. 01 May 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

"Unanswered Questions about Standardized Tests." Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

Cedar Valley Middle School

Ms. Collins' students

These are the wonderful ideas of my 8th grade students and their advice to the next President of the United States.

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