Texas students received their STAAR reports earlier this week.
It wasn’t good news, especially for elementary and middle school students whose math skills were tested based on the state’s new mathematics curriculum, which requires children to learn and master skills and concepts TWO YEARS above their current grade level.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Texas’ public education system, you need to understand our officials are obsessed with rigor and high standards. They don’t really know what that means, but why let that get in the way of a government program? Nonetheless, our education officials won’t let Texas children get away with being stupid, so they’ve opted to eliminate that risk early by making them learn more at younger ages.
That’s why we now have kindergarteners solving math word problems, even though they can barely read and master basic addition. We have six graders learning algebra, even though the course has traditionally been taught in eighth or ninth grade. (See what kids are expected to learn in each grade.)
Texas has rigor and high standards.
Texas has no common sense.
Accelerating learning beyond a child’s developmental abilities is just damn stupid. Their brains simply have not grown enough to process these lessons, and sadly, many of the reasoning skills we’re demanding of our elementary school children don’t even develop until the age of 12. Adding this material before the brain can handle it doesn’t speed up a child’s development, it destroys the child’s spirit.
That’s why we have thousands of children who now believe they are stupid – their STAAR math scores show they answered only a fraction of the test questions correctly.
Of course, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) isn’t saying these kids are stupid – yet.
That comes in September.
Parents received a notice this week that explains passing standards for this test will be set this summer. No one has passed or failed – yet.
Here’s what TEA said:
“Once the new passing standards are set for math, you will receive an updated report in Sept. 2015. This updated report will tell you whether your child passed the test. It will also give you additional information about your child’s performance…This information can help you and your child’s teacher identify areas where your child is doing well and areas where he or she needs additional help or support to be successful in math next year.
When you are reading this report, please keep in mind that the 2015 STAAR math tests include some concepts and skills that were taught for the first time this year. For this reason, students will not have to meet the final math passing standard this year.” (See the letter.)
In other words, your child will go on to the next grade, but if it ends up that she didn’t pass this test, she’s going to be separated from her peers so she can spend more time on math. For elementary school children, that means special tutoring groups. For middle school kids, that means they lose an elective and will be forced take a remedial math class in addition to their grade-level math class.
It’s all about rigor and high standards, y’all.
These children simply don’t measure up, and they need help.
I call BS.
These children are doing exactly how they’re supposed to be doing for their age; it’s the bureaucrats who need help for thinking that adding two years of concepts to their measurement equation will get a positive result.
Enough is enough. Our children deserve MUCH better.
Originally published June 2015