Texas Elementary Eliminates Recess Before STAAR Testing

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“Her demeanor when I picked [my daughter] up was just like ugh… She told me they took recess away and I said ‘What? Why?’ And she told me they said they were taking recess away until after the STAAR test, and that if we don’t pass the STAAR test, then we won’t get it back,” a mom told KLTV concerning Pine Tree ISD. She’s worried that the school is putting too much stress on students concerning the STAAR test. says that recess is incredibly important to children. They write that many schools cut down on outdoor time in the 80s during the No Child Left Behind era due to accelerated academics. Poor playground equipment and safety fears also halted recess access, and it’s impacted students negatively. With national childhood obesity rates on the rise along with students who can’t focus because they have so much energy to burn, the free time is desperately needed.

“Free play helps to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. If we direct that time for students, how will they ever learn to do and think for themselves? Kids need to feel like they have some autonomy, or education feels more like a prison than a learning experience.” Scholastic quotes teacher Rebecca Webster.

When KLTV asked Pine Tree ISD about the issue they said they were still following state requirements but refused to talk further.