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STAAR testing and why I stand where I do!

I am getting a TON of flak from friends, family, teachers, etc about my desire to opt my 3rd grader out of the STAAR test. Everyone is telling me that testing is just a part of life and that the student should just accept it and go on. I understand what they are saying. I understand WHY they are saying it. But here is my position: The way the government is handling the situation is WRONG. The fact that students have to pass the STAAR test before being promoted to the next grade or being allowed to exit and graduate high school is WRONG! The way the teachers are “graded” for the students’ performance is WRONG! The pressure and amount of “learning” expected of students now is WRONG!

I’m not against testing. I’m not against testing to see what has been learned and if the teacher is doing their job. I AM against teacher’s pay being based on the performance of students.  I AM against having to teach TO the test. I AM against shoving this much information (information that even parents can’t understand and help their students with) down the students’ throats. I AM against having to pass this test in order to be promoted to the next level. I AM against having to pass this test to be able to graduate high school. I AM against the government interfering with our lives as much as they are. I AM against someone telling me I CANNOT opt my child out of a test I don’t feel they should have to take. There are so many things that can go wrong when that much pressure is applied. Some students just do not test well under any circumstances. Some children have a hard time retaining certain information. Some students just may not feel well on test day.

Colleges don’t even look at STAAR tests.  So WHY should this test even matter??!!! WHY put this much emphasis on this stupid test???!!!!

I understand your concerns. I have them, too. But change has to start somewhere. If we are all complacent and just accept that this is part of life and get over and just do it, our students will learn to just be complacent.  How do we teach our kids that it’s ok to stand up for things they believe in? How do we teach them that enough is enough? How do we teach them that not every adult has their best interests in mind and that sometimes it’s ok to say NO?

If we are complacent now and just accept this as “the way it works” and make our students take this test, nothing will ever change. The ones that make this test will continue to do as they please and add more and more ridiculous information that they expect our children to know just for the test. If we remain complacent and do nothing now, where will it end? If we remain complacent, there will never be ANY change.  I believe it’s time to stand up for our children. I believe they children and teachers deserve more. They deserve to be able to WANT to go into the classroom and have fun learning. The teachers deserve to be able to teach fun and interesting things that capture the students’ attention and learn to LOVE learning! Not hate it. They deserve to be able to conduct experiments and see how things work. They deserve to be able to go on titillating adventures and question everything, even authority when needed. They deserve MORE.

I understand that I will be used as a guinea pig to see how well it goes over with me opting her out. I just want YOU to understand that I’m doing it for all of them, and that we can’t wait any longer to demand change. Our kids deserve better.

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