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The text explains both sides of the effects of assessments on middle school students. As an eight grade U.S. History teacher, teaching in the great state of Texas, I am subjected to State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). What the textbook says and what I believe are two different things. The assessment process has three parts to it. And they all have a valuable meaning to their usage. One segment writes about the Diagnostic assessment of the three parts. This particular assessment can allow the teacher to identify any problems students may have and help the teacher plan their instruction accordingly. It also will benefit a cultural perspective from students and environmental variables as well. (Manning & Bucher, 2012).
My personal experiences with assessment test, is that it can be manipulated and utilized for district appraisal. For example, in my school Math and Reading are the biggest district goals for achievement. Forget about Science, History, Career Planning, and any other subject for that matter. Since states now run educational programs, it has become a business aspect rather than an educational component. Stake holders want to see students progress because of the amount of money that goes into educational programs. When this becomes a standard, teachers and students become overwhelmed with stress and performance. After STAAR testing, when the schools receive their test scores, it becomes priority due to the fact that students will have an opportunity to retake their Math or Reading test before the end of the academic year. And as such, if a student fails one or both test (Reading & Math), they are pulled form their regular school schedule and thrown into one to two classed for the day. At one point, my first year of teaching, we had so many math and reading failures for STAAR test that for two to three weeks, I had classes with no more than five students for each period. Many students missed out on the curriculum for all subjects. I don’t agree with assessment testing because it demonstrates that schools are only interested in number verses the educational gains of content and curriculum.
Manning, M.L & Bucher, K.T. (2012). Teaching in the middle school (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.