PV: STAAR test and its effects on students

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Arianna Reuss, student life editor

I believe that schools should not have annual STAAR tests or at least make changes in order to make it less stressful  because it puts too much pressure on the students and on occasion the teachers. All around Texas, STAAR tests are being taken by students at the end of the school year. STAAR tests are short assessments that provide teachers with learning data. It shows how much or how little students have learned throughout the whole year. STAAR assessments can also determine if the students move on to the next grade level or not which, causes test anxiety. Of course everyone is bound to get a little bit nervous,while taking or preparing for the STAAR tests, but sometimes students find their anxiety weakening or so unbearable that they can’t handle it. Symptoms of test anxiety are negative self-talk, trouble concentrating on the test, headaches, dizziness, overthinking test questions, and racing thoughts. According to the website  DoSomething.org, it can become so severe that students will drop out of school in order to avoid that fear. In fact, every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds or 7,000 a day.

Unfortunately the school board has done nothing to help us overcome our fears and anxieties except for giving us more practice STAAR tests from previous years in class to do. We also take one test every day for nearly the whole 5 days we’re in school. If we had one STAAR test each week, it would be fine because we wouldn’t have to focus on one subject then automatically switch to a different subject the day after. The staff at school’s always say they understand what we’re going through, but they obviously don’t because if they did then they wouldn’t have chosen to make the STAAR after another.

I think that we could easily solve this problem by spreading the tests out more and not take practice STAAR tests a month before the test is. I don’t think that we should completely eliminate them, because it gives us direction on what we need to grow on. They should change it in order for it to better fit and better convenient the students as well as the teachers. As Christine Gregoire said, “ Education is the foundation upon which we build our future.”