When I was in school, testing was the one thing I hated the most. It's not that I couldn't do it, it just seemed to be a source of anxiety for me.

I couldn't look at notes to help me get it right, I couldn't ask for help if I didn't understand something. I was simply on an island.

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Thankfully, one of the things I never had to deal with growing up was standardized tests. Sure, there was the ACT and SAT, but those were only if you decided to take those in order to get into college. For the record, I did take both.

I've watched both of my sons now get to a complete state of panic and anxiety, all over a test that is ONLY done in Texas, nowhere else.

If you have kids, you know what I'm talking about. The dreaded STAAR tests. Seriously, I've never seen my boys get so worked up over something, or be so anxious that they can't sleep the night before.

The STAAR tests are really a gauge of how students in Texas are doing or retaining information. In short, they're more for the schools to get good ratings than they are for anything else. They end up being masked as a way for the students to see how they're retaining information and if they need help.

While they do indeed tell us SOME of that, they aren't entirely accurate. Such a big deal is made over these tests, and they come with ramifications. If the student doesn't do well, they are subjected to tutoring in free periods, or worse yet, summer school depending on how they do on these tests.

I personally have two students who come home with great grades every quarter. A's and B's are not uncommon in our household. That's because they aren't feeling the pressure of learning, and if they don't understand something, their teacher is right there to help them. No anxiety, no stress, just learning. Isn't that what they're going to school for in the first place?

How can we expect our children to perform well on these tests if we're telling them they better do well so they don't have to go to summer school? They're young and don't necessarily know how to handle pressure like that. The LAST thing they want is to waste their summer in school.

So we send them in with these thoughts, all the while they're supposed to perform at their highest level so they can do well. It's relatively unfair if you ask me.

It's time to do away with the STAAR testing, or at minimum, take away the "punishment" if that's what you want to call it related to the tests. Let these kids at least feel like it's not the end of the world if they don't do so great on them. Some kids aren't very good test takers, but it doesn't mean they don't know the info.

Do the right thing Texas, and fall in line with the rest of the country. Stop pressuring these kids more than they already are.

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