STAR Not Shining so Brightly for Students

by MAREN PETERSON

News Editor

Don’t you just love how we all jump for joy when we hear about standardized testing? Not. We all groan instead. We simply try to endure the tedious STAR and the CAHSEE tests.

The program overview for the CAHSEE says, “The primary purpose of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is to significantly improve pupil achievement in public high schools and to ensure that pupils who graduate from public high schools can demonstrate grade level competency in reading, writing, and mathematics.” (Senate Bill 2, Section 1[b]). Education Code Section 60850 The test covers basic algebra, and basic English. We should have been able to pass it in eighth grade. That is literally competency. Shouldn’t we need to know more in order to graduate? The exit exam should be challenging. We should have to actually study for it, because if that is all students have learned by the time they graduate high school, they will fail college, or never rise above a minimum wage job.

The STAR is also ridiculous. For one, students aren’t motivated to do well on it. They aren’t graded on it or impacted by it all. “The purpose of the California Standards Tests is to determine how well students are learning the skills and knowledge required by the California Academic Content Standards for each grade or course.” (standardized testing and reporting program) This is just the problem with standardized testing in general.

Basically these tests tell kids ‘you only need to be this smart’ they don’t push students on to try and be better. They put a limit on how smart kids have to be to get by in the world. There is no competition.

When Mr. Mayo was asked if the test achieved it’s purpose he said, “Yes, the CAHSEE definitely shows competency and the STAR shows progression.”

But is that all we want to know? Competency? Progress on from that little by little? Our school system is being destroyed and standardized testing is definitely the hammer slamming nails into the coffin.

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