Monday, April 01, 2013

Getting STAARed

The STAAR End of Course tests began today with a vengeance. STAAR stands for, they tell me, State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, but what it should be called is STEWED: State of Texas Exercise in Wasted Educational Days.
Not knowing how other school districts are handling it, the one whose borders I live within dedicated the entire day to one EOC on one subject for one grade level. During testing times, other grades either met for class – but did nothing – or crowded into mass meeting areas to wait around.
Classes resumed in the afternoon, but whether anything was done depended on an individual teacher’s schedule.
All of this will go on for another seven days, then later on, TAKS testing will occur for all high school juniors. Three more days where nothing gets done.
That, friends and neighbors, is ten days of standardized testing. With a mere 80 days of instruction in the spring semester, that is a 12.5% reduction in the number of days of instruction.
Your tax dollars at work.
And finally friends and neighbors, the Texas Legislature is currently considering severely curtailing the number of required End of Course exams, reducing the number to seven. If passed this year, that means that the test being taken this week will not be included in a student’s graduation requirements.
Making a waste of a day a complete waste of a day.

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