The Negative Side of STAAR
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) is a series of state-mandated standardized tests. They assess a student’s achievements and knowledge learned in the grade level they are in. They are taken in grades 3-8, and in high school.
Some students believe that taking STAAR tests is wrong because it is not the best way to evaluate a student’s academic achievements.
Sophomore Marisol Ballesteros said, “Not only do tests restrict the curriculum in the classroom but they aren’t good for proactive purposes. For example, we don’t get our scores early enough to be able to evaluate our mistakes. We are just given a percentage and never a list of what questions we got wrong and how we can fix our mistakes. The only objective part of the test is scoring when done by an accurately programmed machine. Deciding what items we put on the test, how questions are worded, which answers are scored as ‘correct,’ how the test is administered, and the uses of exam results are all made by subjective human beings. This all makes the tests claims of social fairness faulty. I think that taking a standardized test isn’t the best way to evaluate a student’s academic achievement.
Ballesteros had done a paper on this topic and found out PISA has researched how the tests have affected the U.S.
“It’s been researched by the Program for International Student Assessment that in the first seven years since standardized tests, the U.S. has actually dropped 10 ranks in math in science, and stayed the same in English. This just further proves that tests aren’t bettering our education. I think that part of this has to do with teachers ‘teaching to the test’ for higher scores, negatively disrupting education systems. Personally, I feel think that they really aren’t used for educational purposes. I feel like we, as students, can learn more if we weren’t restricted by the overwhelming amount of tests.”
Even teachers believe that the STAAR test has a negative impact towards students.
“I am not for these tests. They cause tension and stress. I don’t think it is fit for learning in general. A good thing about them is seeing what the students are superior in, but it doesn’t really give them a learning lesson. It is not good for graduation requirements,” English teacher Keith Russell said.
Continually, the STAAR seems to put weight on students shoulders.
“I think that STAAR is pointless because it shouldn’t define whether you get to move on or not. You can have really good grades throughout the year, yet some people have testing anxiety, so they do really bad on the test. Therefore they can’t move on when they have straight A’s or something,” sophomore Mariana Venezuela said.
By Desiree Sandoval