Texas students post high passing rates on first round of STAAR tests
"Statewide, 87 percent of students who took the Biology I test passed, 83 percent passed Algebra I and 81 percent passed world geography. On the English I reading test, 68 percent passed. On the writing test, which required students to write a literary essay and an expository essay, 55 percent passed."
Some of that sounds good, right?
"[S]tudents taking the Algebra I tests were required to answer 17 of 54 questions correctly, or 31 percent, to pass. English I reading test takers needed at least 27 of 56 questions correct, or 48 percent, to pass."
Hang on, then, that title is a bit misleading.
"By 2016, students taking the algebra test will need to answer 31 of 54 correctly [or 57%] to pass, and English I students will have to answer 33 of 56 [or 59%]."
I keep asking some questions, but I don't have answers... Why is the passing rate, even in 2016, so low? Are our expectations low or is it an unreasonable test? If a student made a 57 in Math, but I passed him, someone would question my low expectations. And if I gave a test and a majority of my students made a 57, someone would question the validity of my test.
Is the STAAR testing the TEKS? Are we teaching the TEKS? Do we need to teach only 57% of the TEKS?
I'm not trying to be funny--really! This is extremely frustrating to me. I wish I could call Agents Mulder and Scully to investigate. The TAKS and STAAR tests don't show growth. They don't have a permanently set passing rate. They don't guide instruction. They don't test basic skills. Except for funding and ratings, they are absolutely pointless to the education of students. I know, those are big exceptions. And that's insanely messed up.