The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

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Failure can launch

Texas should eliminate testing instead of changing program’s standards

Early this year, the Texas Senate voted to pass a bill to allow seniors who failed up to two of the five required STAAR tests in high school to graduate. Before the bill was passed, students were required to take, and pass, standardized tests in English I and II, Biology, Algebra I and United States History. After the passing of this bill in February, students who failed one or two STAAR tests but maintain passing grades and meet all other graduation requirements can still receive their diplomas.

Though the bill makes it possible for more seniors to walk in June, the bill is going to negatively affect the standardized testing process in years to come. It would make more sense for the legislature to eliminate the tests all together.

As the state spends more and more money on testing security, efficiency and difficulty, students are becoming more and more aware of the decreasing chances that the tests will affect their academic success. Once a student is made aware that the test they are taking is unnecessary in their high school career, they will take it far less seriously, and all of the money spent on those failed tests will be wasted.

Every year, each school’s administration is going to have to sit down and decide whether the students who have failed STAAR tests should be eligible to graduate. This is going to require further spending of time and money, as well as leave the eligibility of students to graduate up to individual opinions instead of defined standards. All in all, billions of dollars are being spent on tests that aren’t being passed or affecting individual student’s education in any way other than replacing five days of classroom learning time with five days of sitting in a monitored room and eating snacks while they wait for their peers to finish filling in Scantrons.

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As Texas reduces the intensity of the STAAR testing program more and more each year, students and administration’s commitment to success in standardized testing also decreases. If the millions of dollars spent by Texas education to produce, distribute, monitor and grade the standardized tests were spent in the classroom, increasing the quality of public education, students would be more likely to meet the many other requirements for graduation that keep thousands of seniors off the stage every year.

The STAAR testing program is clearly in decline as the Senate makes modifications to it almost every year. An immeasurable amount of time and energy could be saved if the program was cut now and the money was relocated to improving individual classroom standards across the state.

 

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