Perspectives of Expert Language Arts Teachers on STAAR EOC As a Predictor of College Readiness

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2015


The federal “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 (NCLB) mandates states to create tests that align with state academic standards (Texas Education Agency, 2014b). In compliance with NCLB requirements, the State of Texas created and implemented the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness End of Course Assessments (STAAR EOC) in 2010. Every 10th grade Texas public high school student is now required to meet standard on the English II STAAR EOC exam to earn a high school diploma (TEA, 2014b). If students do not meet standard on the exams, they are remediated and retested multiple times per year until they have met standard. The Texas Education Agency states the new system of STAAR EOC testing focuses on increasing college readiness of graduating high school students and ensures that Texas students are competitive with national and international competitors (TEA, 2013a). The researcher in this qualitative research study used a narrative inquiry method to add an expert English teacher perspective regarding the STAAR EOC as a predictor of college readiness. The researcher used purposive and opportunistic sampling of expert English II teachers in school districts in North Texas. Interviews were conducted face-to-face and were guided by an open-ended questionnaire protocol per Bogdan and Biklen (2007), which had been vetted by an expert panel. Findings included a teacher opinion that accountability was necessary, but more so for new to the profession or poor performing teachers. Findings also included assertions that testing was too heavily influenced by outside sources such as money and politics; master teachers desired more autonomy in their classroom and curriculum. Teachers expressed that they did not focus on the state mandated testing in their classroom. Though teachers acknowledged an increased focus on writing because of the exams, teachers also criticized the content of the English II STAAR EOC exam, noting there was a lack of grammar, creativity, and synthesis of information required to meet standard. Because of these criticisms, as well as the multiple non-academic factors required for success at the collegiate level, the expert teachers in this study did not feel the STAAR EOC was an accurate predictor of college readiness.


Chuck Holt

Subject Categories

Education | Secondary Education