This STAR testing has my left eyebrow locked in the "up" position.
This is how I see it. They take us when we're four or five years old, put us in intellectual shackles for ten years, do their best to strip us of our individuality and break us down into drooling automatons and then come to us to help them jockey their way up the financial ladder. They themselves have even declared it: the only purpose of this three-week-long test is to strengthen their status in the school system's hierarchy so that they can get more money to throw away.
The ball is now in our court. Most people seem to want to pass it right back.
If the test actually affected us in any significant way, they wouldn't have to try to intimidate us into doing well; if it influenced our college applications, we'd march in lines for them. They showed their cards when they sent office goons to every classroom to try to scare us into trying.
My advice is this: don't intentionally do poorly on the test, but just don't give a shit if you have to spend five minutes working through one algebra problem.
Schools function like a pack of buzzards grappling for the few scraps of monetary carrion our rotting carcass of a school district still has clinging to its bones. Some bureaucrat idiot up in Sacramento grinds the organ and all the monkeys dance.
The largest share of educational funding goes directly into the pockets of suits who have no purpose but to sit at their desks and throw leftovers to local administrators who then use their minimal resources to do stupid things like re-carpeting the main office and planting flowers in front of the school (a new goal proposed by Forcier).
It's not like you can just throw money at a problem until it goes away, either. The whole "compulsory education" idea is a travesty anyway, but that's a whole other can of illiterate worms.