I keep noticing a lot of parental and educator anger over STAAR, and all of it is justified. But lost scores and other problems created by the testing vendor, ETS, are only symptoms of a deeper problem, and venting against the vendor on Facebook and Twitter won’t accomplish much without going to the source of the problem – the elected officials who still support over-testing instead of real education.
Only the Legislature can rein in high-stakes, high-stress standardized tests, and the next opportunity will be the session convening in January.
A state commission that has been studying problems with STAAR – the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability – isn’t likely to go so far as to recommend that STAAR be scrapped. So, it is important that legislators hear directly from parents, educators and others demanding significant change.
If you do not know who your state representative and state senator is, click on this link and fill in your address to find out who they are and how to contact them:
Contact their offices early and often. Be polite but tell them you want STAAR to go away and insist on a definitive answer.
And remember their names and how they answered – or didn’t – when Election Day rolls around in November. All of the state representative seats and about half of the Senate seats will be on the ballot this year.
Had it up to here with STAAR? Take your complaints to the source of the problem — and keep taking them there.