The Dispatch

STAAR: The Aftermath

Liam Connally, Online Writer

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Today was the English 2 STAAR test for all Bowie Sophomores, and it, like all STAAR’s, was awful and a waste of time. Here are the three main reasons why we should get rid of STAAR altogether.

1. It wastes valuable class time.

You go into the testing room at the very first bell of the day, and you stay in there until the final bell, they only give you five hours to take the test. The school day is about seven and a half hours which means you have two hours in your testing room where you’re doing nothing, a time they could easily be better using, so we’re not missing more class than necessary.

Also, the five-hour limit seems excessive. When I was younger they would stress that STAAR has a time limit so you shouldn’t take more than two-three minutes per question, most STAAR tests are about 60 questions which means they think you should around two-three hours to take the test. I understand some people take tests slower, but the entire room was done before the last hour even started, so they’re wasting valuable student time by keeping us trapped in a testing room all day.

2. It stresses students out way more than day to day life already does.

One of my friends came out of the testing room at the end of the day and told me he burst out crying after finishing his essay because he felt he didn’t do a good job. The STAAR Test made a 10th grader cry. All week I’ve been hearing “oh I hope I get sick on Thursday” or “please god let me pass this test.”

Being a high schooler is already hard enough. We have eight classes, and in some cases, students get homework in all 8, we have to worry about keeping eight grades up it’s hard to want to show up to school some days because of a project you forgot to do, or you know you didn’t do well. We don’t need a big scary test that comes wrapped with speeches from the teachers about the seriousness of the exam and a line you must sign saying you’ll keep quiet about the test. That signature alone stresses me out I feel like if I accidentally let a joke about the test slip that the school district will arrest me or something, the test stresses me out before it even starts.

3. It can affect your graduation

If you fail the STAAR tests you might not graduate, you take 5 STAAR tests over the course of your high school career, and if you fail them, you could risk not getting through high school. You might be a straight A student who’s just not that great at test taking and then suddenly you don’t graduate. Over the course of high school, you take 100s of tests, but a mere five can ruin your chances of getting your dream college, that’s the least fair thing in this whole world. No one should work like crazy for four years just to find out five days of your academic career can ruin the other 700.

If STAAR was just to see where you were in that class or a regular test grade in the class that the test is for that’d be one thing but they make up an entire 15% of your final grade which is enough to make you fail any class. It seems to me that STAAR tests only exist to make you fail.

STAAR testing has no clear benefits to the students taking them and only add to students stress. STAAR testing has had a good run, but it’s time to come to an end. Let’s make 2018 the year that ends STAAR testing forever.

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STAAR: The Aftermath