Very hopeful that the “Next Generation” commission will provide our state leaders with some very practical and necessary changes to the state accountability system and the STAAR test. They are currently meeting and will provide a comprehensive list of reform items in the Fall of 2016.
The test covers too many standards as it is right now and teachers do not have the time nor the resources to effectively teach critical, foundational skills to the depth and complexity necessary for students to have mastery of those essential skills and knowledge.
The test is also too punitive and we should not be determining if a student in 5th grade or 8th grade (even the EOCs in high school) should move on to the next grade based on the results of one test (even with re-tests) and basically diminishing that student’s academic work and learning for the year and perhaps even dismissing a student’s need for additional time and support to meet mastery. All students do not learn at the same rate and to shoehorn every one of them into the timeframe of learning that equates with a standardized testing schedule is absurd.
The commission has a very balanced make up of educators, leaders, and parents. It will be up to the TEA commissioner and our legislators to trust this committee and to do what is right by students.