State testing: STAAR

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Ellie Brunner, Staff Reporter

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In Texas roughly 75% of students pass the STAAR test every year. As the year
comes to an end, students begin to feel the pressure of standardized testing.
Additionally, students and teachers make an effort to cram in every piece of knowledge
that will be tested on top of test taking skills.
According to a student at Bailey Junior High the test “gives me anxiety and I hate
pressure situations.” STAAR testing gives numerous children and teens restlessness
and dread for the test day. Students worry that they do not know enough or will go blank
on information during the exam. If teachers did not create such an ordeal about it and
trust their own teaching, students may not be as worked up about it.
Though some teachers focus on STAAR material and preparation, others really
do teach to make the information stick. “I slow down and make sure the students
understand the concepts.” says Seth Lewis, teacher at Bailey Junior High. Teachers
whose subjects are being tested on may feel pressure to teach everything regardless if
it is understood fully.
Parents also have strong opinions about testing and good/bad it really brings
students. “Having a standardized measurement that every student gets tested on is a
good thing,” states a parent of a Bailey Junior High student. “Regardless of where the
kid is from, are taught the same material.” A standardized test ensures that all across
the state students will be taught equally or they should be.
Although that is true, our ways of conducting this could be fixed. It’s only one test
and “one way of testing knowledge,” says parent of a BJH student. Along with the test
comes four full hours to complete every question. Yes, that may seem like a lot of time,
but according to students “I hate the pressure in the situation.” Students are required to
bring up all the information taught to them throughout the year.
The intentions that STAAR testing came from are good and thought to be an easy
way to measure knowledge. Ultimately though, it has evolved to something that many
people dread.