Why the STAAR test should be taken into reconsideration

February 12, 2021

The STAAR test (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) is a state-mandated test that was made in 2012. This four-hour-long test is for students from grades 3-12, and students spend all school year preparing for it. 

This test doesn’t do any good for the education system, and at the end of the day, it contains more cons than it does pros.

Texas is paying about $90 million a year for STAAR tests, and the money is not going towards improving schools. Many schools could get improvements if they had the money, but a test gets way more money and funding than a school would need to get upgrades. That money could be put towards fixing the education system so that students are more knowledgeable about things and will be able to do great things in society. Since students have to go to school, why not upgrade it and ensure a better education that could lead to a better quality of life. Instead, Pearson, the creator of these tests, gets $90 million for the STAAR tests every year.

Teachers are spending most of their time teaching students how to pass the STAAR test. Some teachers have mentioned that they want to teach things but cannot due to the curriculum focusing more on the STAAR test. Besides, other things should be taught in schools, like how to pay taxes, and how to manage your bank account. More time should be spent teaching things that will actually help after graduating and later in life.

The amount of people that have experienced negative mental effects by the test and just testing, in general, is absurd. According to amtaa.org, about 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, and another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety. Students with test anxiety score lower on tests than people without it. It is estimated that 10 million children are affected by test anxiety in North America alone. It’s so common that it’s treated as normal. The data shows that the tests could be inaccurate due to the impact of testing anxiety. Also taking a four-hour-long test most likely isn’t good for anyone’s health.

Getting rid of the STAAR test would stop Texas from wasting $90 million a year on testing, and the money that is used on testing could be used for improvements to the education system and schools. Also, teachers would get to teach more important things, and students would be less stressed. 

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