PV: We should not take STAAR tests


Silvia Makori

Lauren Brochu

Lauren Brochu, staff reporter

Any student that has completed any year of grades 3-12 in Texas has experienced the dreadful week of STAAR testing. While STAAR testing has been a part of our lives since we can remember, there are many mixed emotions towards whether it should be taken by the future generations. In fact, during my years of “preparing” for these tests, I’ve developed quite an opinion for it. I don’t think that the STAAR test should be taken because they are timed and add too much pressure on students shoulders, it causes too much stress, and teachers are too focused on what is going to be on the test so students aren’t learning.

The STAAR test is Texas’ state testing program for reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. It’s a mandatory test that all kids from 3rd to 12th take. While people I know think that STAAR tests are beneficial, I believe that they should not be taken. The STAAR test has a maximum time of 4 hours to be completed and this time frame can frighten students. We want to make sure all of our answers are correct so we triple check them. We also have to write essays and that alone takes over an hour. Our teachers always give us an essay to write as homework and tell us we can’t finish it in just one night. Then the STAAR test comes along and gives us four hours to answer 50 question AND write an essay. According to Save Texas Schools website,“unlike TAKS tests, STAAR EOC assessments are timed tests with a strict 4-hour limit, increasing stress levels for students.”

All tests cause a little bit of stress. Why wouldn’t they? They are a huge part of our grade and we need a certain amount of test grades per semester. As if we don’t have enough pressure with homework and our personal lives, our teaches scare us by telling us we will get held back if we don’t pass the test. I understand that STAAR is to be taken seriously, but terrifying us isn’t the way to do things. Instead of that, teachers should excite the class by telling them that if everyone passes they get a party or something. A Texas Public Radio broadcast held on February 22, 2019 about STAAR tests states,”studies found that these tests are too hard, with material that is almost two years ahead of student’s expected reading level.” When taking a test, there is nothing worse than not understanding or knowing what our reading and the concept you have to write about.

With a big test such as the STAAR, comes preparation. Now, that should be easy because we have ALL of that time right? Wrong! Teachers still burden us with packets of homework, chapters to read, and things to write. On top of that we have reviews for the STAAR to complete. I think that just about everyone has determined that while teachers think that the reviews help, half of the stuff on the test isn’t on the review and was learned in the beginning of the year so it was forgotten. With all of the due assignments, we don’t have enough time to properly study for the test.

Our teachers attempt to teach us the things that are going to be on the test but while doing so, we are not truly learning. We learn the formulas and solve the equations without learning why and how they work. It may not sound important, but understanding how something works is essential for something that we need to remember years into the future. Integers are a great example. We know that -4+5 would be 1 because the negative and positive numbers cancel each other out. In my opinion, while some of the things  we learn are important, a majority of it is not. Things such as pythagorean theorem and finding the area of hexagon are not going to be used for the rest of our lives. The test makes sure that we know the things we’re “supposed” to know. It doesn’t test us on things such as communication skills, problem solving, leadership and creativity. Letters to the Future President claims, “testing does not help you in real life because there are no questions that will help you in the future.

All in all, there are many pros and cons to taking end of year standardized tests. However, many will side with my belief when I say that that STAAR test and all state standardized tests should be canceled. They cause to much pressure and stress, they don’t teach important lessons and are not beneficial or fair.