STAAR testing should be scrapped. Using the STAAR as a way of assessing a child's academic achievement is pointless, ineffectual, and inaccurate. The very idea of starting formal state testing on a child at age 8 is just mind-boggling. Added to that, is the fact that they are 4-hour tests, for individual subjects. It is well known that some kids, who are actually very smart, are not good at testing, especially under pressure. In my opinion and in the opinion of others, STAAR puts unnecessary stress on children, teachers, and parents. It is not just the one or two days of the actual STAAR testing, but the lead-up to the STAAR. This is where a lot of the stress and anxiety actually begins. It should be known that the whole year leading up to the STAAR is spent preparing for the test. Practice tests are frequent and now they want us to do the STAAR online, which opens up a whole other debate about being in front of a computer screen for hours doing a test, never mind the possibility of cheating for virtual students. There is no doubt that Covid has affected learning and testing in schools. So much so, that according to texastribune.org, "Texas has already committed to allowing elementary and middle school students who fail the exams this spring to move up to the next grade, with district permission." Again, what is the point? It is a fact that teachers are constantly teaching to the test, instead of teaching to the needs of individual children. This time could be better spent helping the children who are failing, the children who the teacher has already identified, usually within the first month of starting school.
I even know of a principal who said, "Forget about your STAAR grades, they don't mean anything." WOW! From a principal. I ask you, why are we even taking this test? Who benefits from it? The children don't, the teachers don't, and the parents don't. So who does? A better question is, who is making money? 90 million dollars are spent on the STAAR each year, which could be put to better use. We could use the money for school equipment, education-based charities, more staff, and better pay for teachers. Not a test that serves no purpose, other than putting stress on everyone.
If you look at other countries, for example, Ireland, which has one of the highest education systems, state testing is only administered at the end of "key stages" - elementary, middle, and high. All other years are assessed using ongoing assessment from the teacher, based on class assignments, similar to what we have here, minus the STAAR of course. As we have SO many graded assignments throughout the year, I wonder what the point is of the STAAR. We have 4 graded report cards a year, as well as 4 interim reports. I think that is more than enough evidence that children are being assessed, graded and the information is documented and shared with the parents. Please sign this petition to help stop this money-wasting, time-wasting, and stress-inducing test from continuing to be implemented into our Texas education system.