Vithika G. Texas

Standardized Testing

The government is giving too many tests that students and teachers can take.

Dear Future President of the United States

Standardized tests like STAAR are being given a lot of weightage in the current educational system. As stand-alone year end tests they may have some value, however in addition to numerous daily, weekly and monthly tests and exams conducted by the schools, such tests do not hold much value. By the time STAAR tests are conducted both children and teachers are exhausted from the extensive testing and already looking forward to summer vacations. President Obama said that “unnecessary testing” is “consuming too much instructional time” and creating “undue stress for educators and students “who spend an average of 25.3 hours during the school year taking standardized tests”. (Too much Testing)

It adds a lot of stress to both teachers and students. Teachers can lose their jobs if students do not perform atleast upto a minimum standard required by TEA.The government are giving more tests than students can take. Students have daily tests, weekly tests and mid-term exam every six months on every subject which for most students is up to seven subjects including electives. The students have to study every week for multiple tests. Additionally there are District Curriculum Assessments (DCA) conducted by TEA every two weeks. In addition, ELS students also have to take TELPAS.

STAAR Test has tripled the workload of the students who now need to pass 15 exit level exams to reach college. This creates disadvantages for students who do not do well on such standardized tests. “Standardized tests can place a huge amount of stress on students and teachers alike. This can lead to negative health consequences as well as feelings of negativity directed at school and learning in general.’’ (Disadvantages for students and teachers)

Students who do not have English as their primary language and also students with disabilities may perform poorly on them making it more than likely to be denied diplomas in college and retained in grade or placed in a lower track or unnecessarily put in education programs. Sometimes even outstanding students may perform poorly on one test and since it is a major grade it influences the overall grade too much. One test should not be allowed to hold so much influence on a child’s future. At the very least a second opportunity should be available to make the score better.

STAAR tests are removing the capability of evaluation from the teachers and schools. The class teacher is in the best position to judge the knowledge and progress in class. The adding of STAAR as part of major grade has influenced the way teachers are helping prepare students for STAAR. “Measuring teacher effectiveness is left up to the reveal of the standardized test scores in many school systems. The teachers are held accountable for low scores in many school systems across the US, teachers bonuses are riding on those scores. The pro is that teachers should be held accountable for their teaching ability and standardized testing’’.(Measuring Teachers Teaching) Teachers are held responsible if a student gets a bad grades and If a lot of students get bad grades on the Staar then the teacher’s performance is also judged based on it and they could lose their job. Also there are continuing problems for students and staff are being forced to deal with because of ongoing reporting issues with testing vendors. Also there are continuing problems for students and staff are being forced to deal with because of ongoing reporting issues with testing vendors. STAAR tests will present the greatest challenge to students already hampered by less fortunate circumstances. Low-income students typically begin school far less preparation than their wealthier counterparts. “Students must pass all EOC assessments to graduate from high school, which can mean up to 15 standardized assessments Because STAAR EOC assessments must count for 15% of a student’s grade, failure to do well on a single standardized test may prevent a student from graduating.’’ (Failing Tests)

Thats I think there should not be STAAR tests in addition to daily tests and exams. It gives a lot of stress it both teachers and students. Teachers can lose their jobs and students can be in under extreme stress and spend most of their time studying and worrying what college they're gonna go to at a young age. “Rather than continuing to allow standardized tests to quantify the effectiveness of education, we should create a system of effective education that requires no quantification”. (something instead of STAAR)

Work Cited