Scrap the STAAR

Editorial Board

For years, teachers, students and parents alike have all voiced criticism of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, more commonly referred to as the STAAR test. Given out by the State of Texas toward the end of every school year, the STAAR test decides if students can advance to the next grade. Starting as early as the third grade, students’ curriculum is centered around gearing them with the knowledge they will need to pass this test. Students are straddled with an intense review, packets thicker than some of the books in their current reading level and the stress that looms each coming day as the STAAR approaches. 

According to an article published by KUT 90.5, educators have been vocal for many years about their disdain for the STAAR. Much of the curriculum is centered around preparing students for a test that is a poor reflection of the knowledge they will need in their education. In a vacuum, the test may be a decent way to assess whether or not students are ready for their next level of education, but in a “climate of limited resources,” where schools are fighting tooth and nail for every penny of their state funding, the STAAR is only another hindrance on the education of Texas’ children. Calls for the STAAR test to end have only increased on both sides of the aisle in the Texas Legislature. According to an article by the Dallas Observer, Fort Worth State Representative Matt Krause introduced House Bill 764, which would “give school districts the option to continue [with] the current structure, or shift to another method. Such as using national or state approved standardized tests,” due to the increased stress the STAAR has put on educators in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The STAAR test is an outdated and unnecessary element of our state education system. Therefore, as citizens, we must demand our state legislatures call for its end or propose other alternatives and more appropriate measures to substitute its existence. We could also foster this change by voting. Currently, early voting is available until Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8.

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