We live in a great country where we have the right to air our grievances in public without the fear of repercussions.
So I’d like to throw my own protest into the mix. I protest the STAAR test (the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness). My son had to take the reading and math aspects of our state’s new standardized test this past week. And my daughter will take her elementary school version next month.
“I’m scared, Mommy,” she said out of the blue as we were driving home the other day.
“Why, sweetie?” I asked sympathetically.
“Because of the STAAR test!” she said with real tears beginning to stream down her face. She explained that she was afraid of not passing and being held back in school. All her friends would move on to fourth grade while she remained stuck forever in third.
I assured her that would not be the case, but she didn’t buy it. She is still convinced that this “test” will be the end of her academic career. Did I mention she is eight years old?
An eight-year-old should not be frightened of a test. He or she should not have to endure months of STAAR drills from their teachers on how to properly bubble in answers on the computerized sheet. And, an eight-year-old sure shouldn’t have to worry about whether their school loses its ranking with the Texas Board of Education if they personally don’t do well on the test.
It seems everyone is trying to teach our children how to take a test, not teaching them information or facts that might be on a test.
I do appreciate the educators out there who are trying to help our children pass. And I know even they are frustrated at the mandates and rules this new test requires. But, seriously, there must be some other way to determine whether a child is ready for the next grade level than submitting them to this cookie cutter way of judging their abilities.
How do you feel about standardized tests? We’d love to read your opinion. Please write to email@example.com. And, protest though you may, you will be graded on proper punctuation and grammar.