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AISD Educator Creates Hip Hop Song to Cheer Students in STAAR Test

Before taking the state’s accountability test next week, students at Fulmore Middle School and around the Austin school district will get an added boost of encouragement through the form of a catchy hip hop beat created by an AISD educator.

Frankie Mendoza, director of Fulmore’s Afterschool Center on Education (ACE), wanted a way to encourage and inspire his students before taking the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR exam, which determines whether students can move to the next grade level and even graduate.

So, Mendoza drew on the two things he’s most passionate about—music and education—to write and record a hip hop song, titled “STAAR Defeat.”

The catchy song encourages students to do their best during testing, which begins Tuesday, April 23. The lyrics to the three-minute song also weave in tips for students, such as eating a good breakfast, positive attitude, making families proud and getting a good night’s rest before the test.

“I’ve been working with at-risk students for about eight years, and I know how important this test is for our students,” said Mendoza, who worked as an assistant principal, teacher and student mentor prior to joining AISD in October. “Many students need cheering and encouragement to take the test. My background is in theatre, fine arts, music and hip hop as well as student engagement, so I wanted to apply those skills to create a song for our students and families that is positive and based on counseling views, like the importance of good attendance, good behavior, a positive attitude, working hard and taking the test seriously.”

Mendoza recorded the song and worked with Fulmore students and the Austin Film Society to produce a music video. The video made its debut during a STAAR pep rally at Fulmore Middle School April 22. Watch his music video.

“The whole idea of the pep rally is to do it at the end of the day on Monday so our kids leave feeling positive and excited. We hope this pep rally, and Mr. Mendoza’s song, will give a little boost of confidence before the test and make them feel good about all of their hard work,” Lisa Bush, principal of Fulmore Middle School, said. “What I really appreciate about what Mr. Mendoza has done is that he’s involved the kids, and they’re really excited about participating.”

Mendoza also will perform the song live during the rally.

“The students are pretty excited about it,” Mendoza said. “I hope I can use my music and education skills to help those students who are struggling and falling through the cracks of learning.”

Listen to “STAAR Defeat.”

STAAR Defeat

Written by Frankie Mendoza

Recorded and Produced by Justyn Payne

Recording Engineer

Chief Producer PhrozenTruthe Production 

STAAR defeat, STAAR defeat, get on your grind kid, STAAR defeat (2X) 


Gotta pass the STAAR

Gotta go far 


Reading, writing, and math, you gotta set the bar

Don’t slack man….cause you gotta do it 


Good sleep, good breakfast, so don’t blow it 


Put your thinking on, take your time kid 


Answer everything…yeah, you wish you did 


Listen carefully, stay quite 


Respect others that are testing, be polite…yeah that’s right 


No distractions, it’s not a game 


Stay positive and the remember the name 


Assessment for Academics, state of Texas 


You know how we do it…Fulmore representing 


Hold up, hold up, yeah you better study 


Homework help, get a friend…study buddy 


Get a study buddy, get a study buddy, get a study buddy, get a study buddy

STAAR defeat, STAAR defeat, get on your grind kid, STAAR defeat (3X) 


We back…in the STAAR game 


Ask Principal Bush and she’ll tell you the same 


Do good, defeat STAAR, do your best 


Make your family proud, and forget the rest 


Be your own leader, make others proud 


Defeat the STAAR, say it loud 
Defeat the STAAR, say it loud (4X) 


STAAR defeat, STAAR defeat, get on your grind kid, STAAR defeat (3X) 


3rd verse, we stay focused 


Don’t forget Science, History and elective courses 


Test week, yeah we nervous too 


We’re on the same game, yeah me and you 


Attendance is a must, your counselors know 


Take your test, turn it in, it’s time to go 


But don’t cheat, it’s nothing good 


Be honest; try your best, like we you know you would 


So get ready, here it comes, it’s on 


Take a breath, be patient, and remember this song 


STAAR defeat, STAAR defeat, get on your grind kid, STAAR defeat (3X)