Testing with the STAARs
Students across Texas begin taking the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness – or STAAR – test today.
Suzanne Marchman is a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency. She says this year the scores won’t affect whether or not kids graduate to the next grade – for all levels but one.
“Students in grades 3 through 8, the scores don’t impact they’re promotion requirements, it doesn’t affect school accountability ratings,” said Marchman. “But for those high school students in the 9th grade, their end of course grades are calculated in their graduation requirements .”
Marchman says that more than half of Texas’ school districts have opted to defer implementing a rule that would have the STAAR test scores account for 15 percent of high school students’ grades.
Marchman says the new STAAR test differs from the previously used TAKS test in a number of ways. She says there are more open ended questions as opposed to making students choose among multiple choice answers. The STAAR test also has a 4 hour time limit, whereas the TAKS test did not.
This week is only the first part of the STAAR test. Additional testing will take place in late April and early May.