STAAR testing Round 2. Are we done yet?

dyc staar 05Today both my children are taking another STAAR test… we think. Seriously, my eighth-grader can’t tell you what he is taking. So I had to look it up. I think he’s taking math today, social studies tomorrow and science on Wednesday. And if he’s taking geometry right now, does he really need to take the eighth grade math test? That’s where we’re all unclear.

I prefer his complete lack of care about these tests compared with the pressure my fifth-grader is feeling. She has math today and science on Wednesday. She knows this because it has been drilled into her. The pressure is on, not to just pass, but to do well, so she can get pre-AP math and science next year.

I would hope that her whole middle school and high school career is not based on these tests and one day in her life, especially not today. I sent her to school with a sore throat and congestion and a headache. She’s not in great form. Hopefully, she’ll read the questions, work the problems and double check her answers, but I would totally understand if she hurried through it so she could rest her aching head on the cool desk. I’ve known friends whose kids get put in remedial math because they didn’t feel great on test day and didn’t do well. When are we going to look at the whole kid rather than a number on a test?

Both of my kids brought plenty of other stuff to do because they know that they’ll finish with hours to go and nothing to do except for read a book or draw. So, that’s two to three days in which they are learning nothing other than how to take a test.

It’s going to be a long week.

Where do you stand on STAAR testing? Valuable assessment or waste of your child’s time?

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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