Should the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) be Resc

October 17, 2017
By Flacobanz BRONZE, Houston, Texas
Flacobanz BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Although some people believe that the STAAR assessment shouldn’t be canceled, you will see why we should examine the more immensely colossal picture and rescind it. The question everyone's asking is if the STAAR should or shouldn’t be. I know how much people care about keeping the STAAR assessment and I agree with them to a certain extent. But that’s why we should take another look at it. I strongly recommend we cancel the STAAR assessment for the year of 2017/2018.

To commence, the first reason why we should cancel the STAAR is that it is a long, timed test that can determine if you are going to pass or not. The test always makes you nervous and it adds pressure. Just like Texas Assessments of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) assessments, STAAR assessments are timed test with a stringent four-hour time limit, which increments the stress level for students that are taking it. When students take major grade assessments, we tend to get anxiety. We gain an incredible amount of negative thoughts. For example, “I’m never going to pass this test”. That is a form of mental stress. Another form of anxiety is physical stress, which is what most children challenge with while taking the STAAR assessment. Physical stress includes nausea, muscle tension, sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, and even shortness of breath. So giving that information, students shouldn’t be tested on a timed test that adds pressure.  

Texas is paying a billion dollar company, four hundred sixty-eight million dollars for a five-year testing contract. With this amount of money, we could reconstitute schools, homes, and other buildings that have been damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The company name is Pearson. Their name may be familiar because of the recent errors on the test. It cost as much as thirty million dollars to build and furnish a public high school, thirty-six thousand dollars to build and furnish a middle school and even less to build an elementary school. With this insanely amount of money they are spending on a test, we could build more schools, repair damaged homes and buildings. If there are more schools and more kids, there is going to be a ton of students graduating high school. In 2016 there was an estimated, eighty-eight percent of high schoolers that graduated from high school. According to, The Atlantic, study shows eighty-one percent of high school graduates have great jobs and the percentage is increasing every single year. We could build more homes and other buildings that were destroyed during the natural disaster, Hurricane Harvey.

Students should not, not graduate because of one test they did not pass. I believe if these students been learning and working hard the whole year they shouldn't be retained because they have made a couple mistakes on a timed test. According to, savetxschools., “All students must pass all EOC assessments to graduate from high school, which mean a minimum of fifteen standardized assessments” (1). In other words, its fifteen major tests you have to pass including, regular coursework, final exams and other classroom requirements (Homework). Your child could earn an A or B in a subject but still fail if he/she does not do well on the test. The stakes are especially high for fifth and eighth graders because we have four STAAR assessments and we have to pass all four to pass. Although, they give us 3 times to take it (12 hours), with all the anxiety we get there still would be a high chance of not passing. As a result, STAAR assessments must count for an abundance of a student grade and average, failure to do well on a single standardized test may prevent a student from graduating or passing to the next grade.

A student's brain is not ready or wired for the kind of thinking that’s required by the STAAR. The STAAR assessment doesn’t even test us on what we have learned a majority of the school year. According to, Save Texas Schools, “The STAAR assessment should accurately assess students abilities with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) associated with each subject”(3). Given that information, all the low scores that students are receiving is because it appears the exams are not matching what the children learn in school. Many people ask “Why is there such a disconnect”, some people would argue and say that the test is written poorly, while others say teachers are not doing a good job teaching the required TEKS. Children just have not developed the abilities they need for this material. “Today’s education movement focuses on “abstract thinking”- having students use involute reasoning and the faculty to cogitate objects, principles, and ideas that are not physically present”(3), according to, Save Texas Schools. In other words, students shouldn't be tested on anything they have never learned.

All things considered, some people may say that we should keep the STAAR assessment because it avails students to get ready for major test and exams we have in the future (college). I agree with them to a certain extent, but there’s other ways we can track what students have learned over a school year. According to, National Public Radio, unlike the rest of the U.K, it has no specifically government-mandated school test… Schools administer a sampling survey of math and literacy, and there is a series high-school-exit/ college entrance exams that are high stakes for students… These are designed to measure higher-order skills like creativity, student’s well-being and technological literacy as well as traditional academics… Inspectors observe lessons, look at students work and interview both students and the staff members. So there is other ways rather than taking a timed test that integrates pressure, very expensive, not over what we learn over the school year and fails you from a couple mistakes.

The author's comments:

I believe that we can make a huge change and eliminate the STAAR test so that we can build more schools and other things that were damaged during Hurricane Harvey.  

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