During the current school year, students will continue to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or the STAAR test despite the months of school’s missed. By not taking the STAAR test it allows students to focus on their personal lives and other problems they are facing during this year without adding the pressure of preparing for the test.
One of the main problems that have completely changed the world is the COVID-19 virus that started to spread throughout the world in later 2019 and early 2020. This has caused a setback and even caused students to become behind the needed curriculum. Also as many schools have used at-home learning there have been more challenges students have faced. In a poll from Active Minds, 38 percent of students are having a hard time focusing on their work from home and found the work stressful. It’s more important to focus on the needed information than spending time in class preparing for the STAAR test when there’s more important information that is needed to be learned.
With the pandemic, students have also had to learn to navigate their lives and adjust to this drastic change. A lot of these children and teens have had their personal lives turned around. With the younger generation having to stay inside due to quarantine it can lead to a feeling of isolation, depression, and even anxiety. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention most visits the ER have been because of mental health issues. Before someone can focus on school and even the STAAR test a student needs to deal with their mental health because it affects how a person functions and goes through their daily life.
During this time at home, there has also been a decrease in the amount that the students have learned. According to KHOU, Texas students have lost an average of 3.2 months of learning. With this in mind, this shows what the outcome of the tests may be despite them not even having been taken yet. Knowing that students have lost months of learning most likely the test scores will be lower because students have not been able to absorb information fast enough or haven’t learned all the information needed for these tests.
A person could argue that despite knowing the outcome it still helps teachers gauge what they need to teach better. However, this year the results will not be as effective because they will show what they’ve learned during a year that has been like no other. Thus the tests will not show fully accurate information on what needs to be improved teaching-wise within schools.
The solution to the STAAR tests is letting the schools administer a test for themselves to see what they individually need to do differently. It will help save resources by running it through the whole state and will lower the pressure on the students as well. By taking away standardized tests this year students will be able to focus on things more important to them during a time that is new too many.
By Abby Hernandez, staff writer