Second Round of STAAR Testing Starts April 24

Filed under: Schools |

Beginning the transition to the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing program in March, the next round of state testing is scheduled for the week of April 23 (click here to view the state testing calendar). STAAR replaces the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and is described as more rigorous, focusing on open-ended rather than multiple choice questions. For grades 3–8, STAAR will assess the same subjects and grades currently assessed on TAKS. At the high school level, however, grade-specific assessments will be replaced with twelve end-of-course (EOC) assessments: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English I, English II, English III, World Geography, World History, and US History.

Along with the new assessments come new grading guidelines. Under the TAKS program, students were required to take two tests in the ninth grade and four tests in both the tenth and eleventh grades. In order to graduate, they had to pass the four exit- level tests given in eleventh grade. But with the new STAAR program, EOC assessments will count 15% towards the student’s final grade in that course; students must also meet a cumulative score on the number of EOC tests taken in each content area to graduate (score requirements have not yet been determined).

On February 17, Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced that school districts are being given the option to waive for one year the requirement that a student’s EOC scores count as 15% of their final course average. The Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees has taken action to postpone the inclusion of EOC scores into final grade calculations for 2012; the 15% Rule will go into effect for the 2012-2013 year. Read the Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees Adopted Resolution.

For more information on the 15% rule, visit the TEA website. As of Wednesday, April 18, 994 school districts/charters have notified TEA that they plan to defer the 15% EOC grading requirement. You can view a complete list here. Still have questions about the STAAR? The district has put together a basic information page with links to helpful documents and resources. You can view it here.