STAAR is the state’s student testing program. Over the course of the student’s school career, students will be tested in the core subject areas- reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. The STAAR tests for grades 3-8 will cover the same subjects and grade levels as the previous testing, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). At the high school level, five end-of-course (EOC) assessments will replace grade-specific tests.
How does STAAR differ from TAKS?
The STAAR is more rigorous than previous state tests. STAAR focuses more deeply on content taught during the current year rather than testing knowledge and skills learned over multiple years. The STAAR contains more test questions at each grade level. Also, for the first time since the state began its standardized testing program, the tests will have a time limit. Unless a student is eligible for an accommodation, each student will have four hours to complete each assessment. (English I and English II have 5 hour time limits.)
STAAR assessments have been designed to focus on "readiness" standards, which are defined as those Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) student expectations that are not only essential for success in the current grade or course but also important for preparedness in the next grade or course. By focusing on the student expectations that are most critical to assess, STAAR will better measure the academic performance of students as they progress from elementary to middle school to high school.
How will STAAR be scored and reported?
The standards will be phased in over a number of years. The Phase-In 1 standard applies to the 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014 school years. As currently proposed, the Phase-In 2 standard is expected to be applied in 2014-2015 school year followed by the final standard two years later. Student performance will fall into one of three categories.
Texas Education Agency Link to Frequently Asked Questions: www.txetests.com/faqs
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