Dallas Black Blog


Eighth-Graders Face The Stress of TAKS – Guinea Pigs For Texas’ Latest Experiment In High-Stakes Testing

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 26, 2007

Houston Chronicle
Aug. 26, 2007, 7:26AM


Class of 2012 on front lines of high-stakes tests, but effect of stress raises concerns
Kirby Middle School eighth-grader Eddie Maxwell practices the same ritual every night before a high-stakes test: He takes a warm bath and says lots of prayers.

It’s a recipe he’ll have to rely on again this year as eighth-graders statewide are required to pass the reading and math parts of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills before they can start high school.

The Class of 2012, now the poster children for standardized testing in Texas, was the first required to pass the test to be promoted as third-graders in 2003 and as fifth-graders in 2005.

Texas’ 13-year-olds are on the front lines of high-stakes testing, sitting for more must-pass tests than any class before them. Though the full impact of the state’s extensive testing won’t be known for some time, experts worry that the extra stress may have ill effects on this class, including increased anxiety and higher dropout rates.

“They’re certainly the guinea pigs for Texas’ latest experiment in high-stakes testing,” said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for the nonprofit National Center for Fair & Open Testing.



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