Amid growing concerns about the STAAR test, two articles written by Mimi Swartz for Texas Monthly raise new concerns that the readability levels of the questions on many of the STAAR tests are up to two years above the grade level of the test takers:

Are Texas Kids Failing? Or Are the Tests Rigged?

Testing the Test: New Legislation Filed to Audit STAAR

The examination of Texas A&M Commerce showed that, in order to comprehend various STAAR reading test passages, most students would have to be reading almost two grade levels higher than their grade level. A third grader, for instance, would have to comprehend at a fifth-grade level.

The second study conducted by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton used six readability tests to evaluate the STAAR reading test and determined that the reading test contained passages that were too difficult for the targeted age groups.

Texas PTA

  • Believes the purpose of testing is to provide feedback to teachers, parents, and students about students’ mastery of skills.

  • Believes state-mandated test results should be just one measure of student progress, not the only measure that counts.

  • Is concerned about the use of state-mandated tests to make determinations about the promotion of students and to evaluate schools.

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