No More STAAR: End High-Stakes Testing in Texas
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We have to end high-stakes standardized testing in the State of Texas. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is failing our kids with the STAAR. In 2015 the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 743 into law to shorten the time limits of the assessments. The TEA and Commissioner Mike Morath have yet to comply with this law which was supposed to take effect immediately. They claimed they didn't have enough time to revise the assessment for the 2016 administration. Three years later our children are still having to sit for many hours completing assessments that are developmentally inappropriate and unlawful in their duration. Why does Commissioner Morath believe that his agency is above the law? Why do they still get to use this illegal assessment to justify sanctions on schools and school districts at the expense of our children? The TEA and Commissioner Morath must be held accountable for their actions.
High-stakes standardized testing has consumed our children's education from the first day of first grade to their senior year. More than half their time in the classroom is spent on STAAR preparation rather than learning the academic foundations. The TEA penalizes our children if they do not pass the assessments. Students in the 5th and 8th grades are given three opportunities to take and pass the assessment; those who do not pass are automatically retained, with no regard for their classwork throughout the school year, unless the Grade Placement Committee decides they should be promoted. This is not fair and it is cruel punishment to our children.
We need to give control of the schools back to the district and allow them to meet our children's educational needs instead of focusing only on ratings that schools receive in connection with participation in the assessments. The $90 million dollars that we spend each year for the STAAR could go toward smaller class sizes, art and music education, wraparound services, fair compensation and better health insurance for teachers, etc.
Enough is Enough! We have to end the STAAR and all high-stakes standardized testing. Join the No More STAAR Rally at 10:00 am on August 4th at the south steps of the State Capitol in Austin.
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