Education activists on both sides of the “school choice” debate have been unified in their desire to see the abolition of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test that is imposed on public schools. The STAAR has been criticized as a poor testing instrument that dictates the direction of classroom instruction.
The Texas House leadership has proposed imposing the STAAR test on private schools.
Yesterday, we asked readers if private schools should be required to administer the STAAR test.
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Here is a sampling of the comments we received from our readers after they voted in the survey.
“Public schools waste time only teaching to the test. Most private schools are teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, how to think critically, which is a much greater use of students’ time.” – Kaye Jameson
“I am a retired [38 years on my record] public educator. So far as I am concerned, if /since the STAAR test is important enough to be given to students in public education, it should be a requirement for ALL students. Also, if/since TEA and UIL, along with our state legislature, has the oversight of public education in Texas, whatever mandates come from their oversight should be mandatory for ALL schools in the state, whether private, parochial, or public.” – Norman Turner
“As a retired public educator, I think STAAR has a limited purpose for accountability in public education. However, I do not believe that private schools should be required to administer a government assessment.” – April Silva
“As someone who was hired for 12 years as a TAKS, TAAS, STAAR tutor, I was able to see firsthand how the scourge of this testing slowly was destroying the teaching profession in our school district.” – Karen Price
“RINOs and globalists are trying to use school choice to line the pockets of their EdTech cronies by imposing the terrible TEA mandates and testing on private schools and homeschoolers. Conservatives must define school choice as ‘the money, but not the mandates, follows the child.’” – Spencer Siino
“Private schools must keep the government out of their business. Don’t let them creep in or the government will take over.” – Judith Martin-Tafoya
“The State’s STAAR test is like having the fox create the security system for the hen house. You want to test kids? Have them make change from a cash register drawer without a computer. You’ll be depressed at what you see. Give them a simple personal checking account statement to reconcile. You could be real cruel and ask what the three branches of the federal government are.” – Robert Bruce
“There was not a box for my preferred answer — abolish the State test altogether. As a retired educator, I can tell you the test is not a good measure of what kids know and sets them up early for feeling bad about themselves as too much emphasis is put on it. Go back to Iowa blue book testing and be done.” – Debra Davis
“The STAAR test has become the only thing being taught in school.” Cathy Hess
“Pass School Choice with no strings attached. No parental duty is more important than the education and upbringing of their children without outside/government intrusion.” – Terry Harper
“How about a third option? Do away with individual state testing across the nation and go back to the Iowa Test of Basic Skills that was used nationwide in the past. All the individual, customized state tests are just another way to launder taxpayer money into greedy pockets.” – Randy Davidson
“I think private schools should administer the STAAR test. It will show how well private schools perform over the public schools and raise the standard.” – Marta Hollowell
“The STAAR should not be allowed in any school, private or public. Since its inception, the test by ‘any’ name has proven nothing but a total waste of taxpayer money.” – Ann Shoecraft
“For all those pushing school choice and trying to tell us there will be no strings for private schools, I’d say they just got their answer. It’s just a matter of time. It’s always just a matter of time.” – Julie McCarty
“The main reason people turn to private education is because of the miserable failure of the public education system! How is it that these morons think assessing private education with the same testing standards–that are a proven failure in public education–is a good idea? We need to get government OUT of education.” – Roger Taylor
“All schools should be graded with the same State test. However, private school teachers should be equally represented on the State testing board.” – Dan Sieczkowski
“STAAR testing needs to be eliminated from ALL schools, both public and private. The tests do not benefit students and have actually caused more strain and stress on students as well as schools.” – Cindy Kelley
“Private schools are already so far ahead in what the state schools are teaching their kids that the STAAR system is not needed to judge what has been taught.” – Carroll Knight
“As a retired teacher, I am against the STAAR test for everyone. However, I voted ‘yes’ only because I feel strongly that if private schools begin receiving state funds under the school choice move that Governor Abbott is pushing, they should be required to follow all of the same regulations that public schools have to follow. This includes the STAAR test and accepting all students who apply.” – Eileen Walcik
“The STAAR is not going anywhere. As long as it is required by the TEA for public school students, any student receiving state funds should have to abide by state requirements, including having certified, highly qualified teachers. Any school receiving state dollars should have to follow state laws.” – Nancy Lingle
“I think it’s important to know how private schools are doing as well as public schools, and how they compare with each other.” – Charles Daigle
“This is not a system of education. It is criminal brainwashing. The perp-o-traitors belong in jail-not in classrooms full of innocent kids.” – Jim Lowry
“Leave the private schools alone. Parents choose these schools to get their children out of public schools away from legislated requirements detrimental to good education.” – Joann Albus
“Private schools and homeschooling so outperform our public schools it’s not funny. Leave them alone. They’re doing a much better job than public schools.” – Sam Bridges
“If STAAR is forced on public school, then it should be forced on anyone outside that arena if you want to have a recognized and accepted high school diploma. We can argue whether STAAR should exist at all…” – Mathew Howard
“Private schools should not administer STAAR. Public schools should not administer STAAR. In fact, public schools should be operating by the same rules as private schools. And both the STAAR and TEA should be swept into the dustbin of political bad ideas.” – Jason Kerr
“Requiring home-schooled children and those enrolled in private schools to pass grade-level tests like STAAR can ensure that children who do not attend public schools are able to perform at the same levels as those who do.” – Charles Fink
“When my kids were in school, it seemed as if the kids did nothing all year except study for a flawed, meaningless test.” – Jeffrey G. Bane
“I am a Texas teacher, both public (20 yrs) and private (7 yrs). Private schools should not be forced under the government mantle of testing. This is an attempt to destroy their better performance than public schools.” – Greg Reinhart