A state-mandated study of the controversial STAAR tests has found that a large percentage of reading and writing passages used in this year’s exams were of acceptable difficulty for elementary and middle school students.

A study released earlier this week by The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, located in Austin, determined that up to 97 percent of reading and writing passages met their criteria for grade-level appropriate text.

The study was ordered by state lawmakers after arguments from some educators saying that the passages were too difficult to accurately measure the aptitude of students.

The Texas Education Agency applauded the findings, saying in a statement it believes these findings validate the test’s ability to “serve as a tool for measuring student progress and success”.

However, the Texas School Alliance, which represents roughly 40 large school districts, some of which have put out the claims of unfairness, said the study’s findings were “inconclusive” due to using flawed methods and not including raw data.

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  1. Change statement to say: Teaching the test, in class small groups, blaming the teacher, has not helped this situation.

  2. I believe that the test is appropriate for students that are on their appropriate grade level. It is very difficult for students who are not on grade level (1 to 3 years behind) and they are expected to pass that grade level/above grade level test. Most students can’t score the basic state passing score. When students are upside down on their appropriate grade level. There is no right side up for them on passing that appropriate grade level test. In many areas in Texas, students need serious interventions or face retention until they are able to reach their appropriate grade level. This is not likely to happen when the educational system is broken. Students are being passed on and over in masses, even though they are not able to read, comprehend, or calculate basic math skills at the appropriate age/grade level. Teaching the test, in class small group help, not blaming the teacher has helped this situation. Therefore, the student has been left behind. The test maker, however is still profiting from this appropriate test. Let’s leave the test behind and make the student more successful by letting the teacher teach to a grade level appropriate curriculum, and supporting the lower level student appropriately. The new buzz word “appropriate “, I love it! Bring back the true resource class to assist students in reaching the appropriate grade level. This will help to eliminate distasteful behavioral problems in the classroom. Someone has to look and listen to what is happening and being said. If not, education will continue its downward trend.

  3. While I feel that the passages are on grade level, the questions are hard for students. Also, the amount of passages and questions tend to be too much for students. We don’t sit in class for four hours testing daily and even our district benchmarks are not that long, so the stamina of students makes it difficult.

  4. I mean its kinda wrong that students have to pass this test in order to move on to the next grade there can be students with straight as n bs but if they fail this test they gotta go to summer school or stay in the same grade is that fair nope not to me

  5. As an educator I find the results unbelievable. I would be interested to know the methods and which they use to determine the appropriateness of the passages for the students. Because when students are given their test scores a failing grade below 70 would still be considered passing because the questions are actually a grade level above the students grade level.the results also failed to mention if the math questions are actually appropriate for students as well I would be surprised if that came back with the same results.

    1. Students who take care of business in class breeze through the STAAR test. The ones who sleep in class, don’t pay attention, don’t turn in assignments…they will struggle. The STAAR test is not hard.

    2. As a student in Texas and later a teacher for 34 years now, Texas needed this test badly. As a military brat, living in several different states until High school in Texas, I can tell you that education was very bad, even in a high- ranking high school. Does it need some tweaking? Perhaps. But it is better than nothing!

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