The Buzz Going Around About the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Test

Next month marks the beginning of the new Texas assessment – STAAR.  There has been a great amount of buzzing going around about the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).  Are your schools, teachers, students and parents ready?  It seems from the headlines that many in the state are just not ready.

The Reporter News in Abilene is reporting on too much testing done in schools today.  While standardized testing is important, many feel our current way of testing induces unneeded stress on our children and teachers.  To learn more about what the Wylie Superintendent, the Anson Superintendent, the Abilene Superintendent and others are saying, click here for the article: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/feb/02/as-staar-approaches-area-educators-concerned/

On the website thechron.com, blogger Kolten Parker writes about the Association of Business taking out a full page ad in the Austin American Statesman asking parents, administrators and legislators to support the 2009 bill about rigorous testing.  The opposition to this support on the bill, that Kolten is stating on the blog, is that students are not prepared due to the budget cuts at TEA and that parents are concerned with how the test will affect their child’s final grade.  To read this blog, please click here: http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2012/02/new-standardized-testing-draws-support-and-criticism/. 

Lubbock Online, is reporting that Frenship ISD is working heavily with their students, teachers, and parents to address the STAAR testing.  They are offering timed tests throughout the year to help students prepare.  The district is also informing parents of how the STAAR testing will affect their student’s GPA and offering information on the transition to this new form of assessment.  Teachers throughout the year have been analyzing their student’s performance in preparation.  To learn more about what Frenship ISD is doing to prepare for the testing, visit: http://lubbockonline.com/not-web/2012-02-02/staar-testing-uncomfortable-frenship-will-do-great-job#.TzKn3F1q2RB.

There have also been reports of parents keeping their students out of school during testing.  They are stating that too much testing is affecting their child’s development.  With the testing affecting 15% of their child’s grade, what are schools doing to help prevent parents from taking this action?

It seems like everyone is weighing in on the new STAAR testing.  Even the Commissioner of Education is speaking out about concerns for the STAAR testing. Read more about what he had to say at the TASA Midwinter Conference at the texastribune.org: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/. Since Commissioner Scott’s comments last week, legislators are asking for an explanation.  They are saying that he has been talking about assessment for years and after his repeated testimony during the 2011 Legislative Session, they were surprised by his comments.

Are there concerns in your district among teachers, students and parents? As we move closer and closer to March, many of us are facing the same questions and concerns about the assessment.  Is the STAAR going to help further our children’s education and make them competitive in the real world?  I guess we will have to wait and see.