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Lydia Breuer, Photo Editor

STAAR test prep booklets often used to help students prepare for the test.

Should STAAR Tests Be A Graduation Requirement?

September 22, 2020

 

 

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No, STAAR Tests Do Not Measure A Student’s Intelligence The Way They Should

Standardized tests are common all around the country to evaluate how well a student performs in school. In Texas, there are the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) End Of Course exams that are taken in high school for the core subjects to help determine if a student will graduate.

Standardized tests do not measure a student’s intelligence the way they should.

Standardized tests do not measure a student’s knowledge to be able to pass because many students have trouble taking tests and showing their understanding of a subject through a multiple choice, 4-5 hour long assessment. This could be due to ADHD, ADD, test anxiety, dyslexia, exhaustion or it isn’t their strong suit. In a situation where failing the test means that they won’t be able to graduate with their peers can be stressful and can hinder their performance.

Another reason that standardized tests are not the way to go is that teachers have actually started to teach to the test instead of a wider and more comprehensive curriculum that incorporates more than just the subject of the test. So students are preparing for a test their entire year instead of learning and retaining more useful information and knowledge for their life and a better curriculum that is just more thorough in general.

Some might argue that standardized tests can be good for pinpointing someone’s trouble areas to see what they need improvement on, and the test data can also be collected and averaged out to study trends in students’ learning. But the tests should only be used for that and should not determine if a student should pass or not. A student could understand the subject perfectly, yet could completely bomb the test because they simply do not do well with them. Graduating should not ride on the sole passing of a test.

Standardized testing can be helpful, but the way that they are being used and how much they are being relied on is not good. They should not be required for graduation and should only be used as one factor of a student’s academic growth and understanding.

 

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Yes, Standardized Tests Do Well At Measuring A Student’s Academic Ability

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Lydia Breuer, Photo Editor

Interventionist Sandra Bobo tutors freshman Martin Small.

The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) is  administered by schools in  grades 3-12. These tests are made to evaluate the students on their academic readiness and then show the state if the student is ready to move up and eventually graduate.

Standardized tests do well at measuring whether a student has the academic ability to move onto the next course. 

Standardized tests  measure a student’s ability to take tests, along with allowing the state to see how far a student has come in academic learning. If a student is unable to complete or pass the STAAR test, they are not academically prepared to move into the next course. This gives the students more time to learn and prepare, as well as give them more test taking strategies to use in the future. 

Another reason tests such as STAAR are valuable is because they help teachers understand what the students are understanding and what they don’t understand. For example, if a question is missed across a large group of students then the teacher knows they need to teach that unit better the next year. The teachers also use the tests to see what educational resources need to be invested in to help the students further their learning. 

Some may argue that tests such as STAAR are not an ethical way to decide if a student will pass or fail because the student could possibly understand the units they have been taught over the year but are unable to perform well on the test due to poor test taking skills. However, STAAR is something to prepare high school students for SAT, ACT and TSI tests, which are required to get into college. 

Standardized testing, such as STAAR, is important to teachers and students. These tests give students test taking skills and show the school as well as the state where the students academically stand.  

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