Students across Texas and other states are taking state summative tests. For most states, it is the first time in a couple of years that state tests are administered in a normal setting. After two years of learning and testing disruption, many fear Texas may be in for another rough testing year. See highlights of the concerns below:
- As a reminder, the last typical year of state assessment was in 2019.
- In 2020, the spring STAAR tests were canceled due to the pandemic.
- In the 2021 school year, the Commissioner of Education gave families the option to send their child to school to test if families had health or safety concerns, which resulted in reduced participation compared to typical years.
- Many argue you really can’t understand what a kid is about by a singular test, especially during a pandemic, yet we are relying on it.
- It is expected that stress, trauma, and unusual academics will impact students’ performance.
- The Texas Education Agency found that test scores dropped significantly from 2019 to 2021.
- Test validity is questioned by some, calling for other ways to assess students.
- The A-F accountability system in Texas gives school letter grades, based on student proficiency measured by STAAR, so the low scores predicted could be problematic for many Texas schools, districts and teachers who are all likely feeling the pressure.
One District Example
- Leaders ISD’s responses to STAAR questions:
- How many kids are taking the STAAR test versus last year? Unknown, still testing.
- How did Leander ISD math proficiency fare compared to the rest of the state, which was low? Difficult to compare due to variable participation rates.
- Do you anticipate a potential drop in STAAR scores this year as opposed to say, 2019? Not a reasonable comparison due to pandemic impact.
- For some of the high schoolers who are taking the algebra, biology and US history EOCs with their STAARs, what happens if they do not pass? Could the track to graduation be slowed? Most are in 9th grade, but all who do not meet the passing standard this spring on either of the exams, they have multiple opportunities to retake the exam this summer, Fall, and next Spring.
- What are administrators and teachers in LISD saying about the social and emotional impact of the last few years and how it affects learning? We choose to build a relationship with our students and nurture each child academically, socially and emotionally, to help them grow as an individual.