STAAR http://kut.org en Are Common Core and Texas Teaching Standards Really That Different? http://kut.org/post/are-common-core-and-texas-teaching-standards-really-different <p>Elgin Middle School sixth grader Allison Graves sits at a computer in math class, using a program called Think Through Math to practice fractions.</p><p>“Your friend gave you a bag of candy," she reads. "There are 36 red candies and 27 green candies. What is the ratio of green candies to red candies?”</p><p>The online math program takes Graves through each lesson step by step. She collects points for correct answers and competes against classmates and other Texas students.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146249322&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:00:11 +0000 Kate McGee 10290 at http://kut.org Are Common Core and Texas Teaching Standards Really That Different? Calculator Directive for 8th-Graders Draws Concerns http://kut.org/post/calculator-directive-8th-graders-draws-concerns <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">As the state integrates a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=25769810227" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">directive</a>&nbsp;that requires eighth-graders in Texas public schools to have graphing calculators&nbsp;for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" target="_blank">STAAR testing</a>, some poorer Texas school districts say that such mandates ignore the financial crunch that many districts are already facing.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">In February,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" target="_blank">Texas Education </a><a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" target="_blank">Agency</a>&nbsp;Commissioner&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/michael-williams/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/michael-williams/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Michael Williams</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769809313" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">wrote to</a>&nbsp;Texas superintendents to instruct them that they must ensure that eighth-grade students have graphing calculators for STAAR assessments, starting in the 2014-15 school year. The directive comes after the State Board of Education increased the algebra content on the exam, said Debbie Ratcliffe, a TEA spokeswoman.</p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:49:18 +0000 Aamena Ahmed, Texas Tribune 10227 at http://kut.org Calculator Directive for 8th-Graders Draws Concerns What Does House Bill 5 Mean For the Future of Texas High Schools? http://kut.org/post/what-does-house-bill-5-mean-future-texas-high-schools <p>Texas high schools are preparing for major changes to graduation requirements.&nbsp;Under a new law, schools will have less standardized testing. But when it comes to implementing the new legislation, many questions are yet to be answered.&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=1156">State Board of Education </a>hashed out the details today of how to enforce the new high school graduation requirements that go into effect in the 2014-15 school year. Monica Martinez, managing director of curriculum for the <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us">Texas Education Agency</a>, noted the challenges of implementing standards consistently statewide.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 22:26:05 +0000 Syeda Hasan 8447 at http://kut.org What Does House Bill 5 Mean For the Future of Texas High Schools? Why Passing the STAAR Exam Will Get Tougher, Starting Next Year http://kut.org/post/why-passing-staar-exam-will-get-tougher-starting-next-year <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F97251900" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>STAAR test results released last week <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/aisd-staar-scores-inch-still-well-below-future-standards">show minimal gains</a> compared to 2012. It was the second year students took the new standardized tests, which teachers and administrators say are more rigorous.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 14:35:00 +0000 Kate McGee 8138 at http://kut.org Why Passing the STAAR Exam Will Get Tougher, Starting Next Year Interview: Texas Dials Back Standardized Testing http://kut.org/post/interview-texas-dials-back-standardized-testing <p>As<a href="https://archive.austinisd.org/academics/testing/"> Austin ISD </a>and other school districts across Texas hunker down and power through another round of <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/">state standardized tests </a>this week, lawmakers are making moves that suggest they think the testing regime has gone too far.</p><p><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB5">House Bill 5</a>, for example, would reduce the number of tests students need to pass to graduate from 15 to 5. This is happening in a state that gave birth to the "academic accountability" movement.&nbsp;</p><p>Texas Monthly senior editor Nate Blakeslee examines the issue in the May edition of the magazine, on news stands now. Listen to our interview with him above and <a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/history-of-standardized-testing-in-texas">read his article at TexasMonthly.com.</a></p><p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 23:44:09 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7471 at http://kut.org Interview: Texas Dials Back Standardized Testing Texas Students Must Pass STAAR Exams to Move to Next Grade http://kut.org/post/texas-students-must-pass-staar-exams-move-next-grade <p>Texas students taking the&nbsp;STAAR&nbsp;test this week will have to pass in order to advance to the next grade.</p><p>Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams says there is enough money in the preliminary state budget to provide tutoring to fifth and eighth graders who fail the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.&nbsp;</p><p>Right now, state lawmakers have allocated $41 million over the next two years for the Student Success Initiative. SSI provides money to school districts to tutor students who cannot pass the STAAR reading or math tests.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 03 Apr 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Kate McGee 7206 at http://kut.org Texas Students Must Pass STAAR Exams to Move to Next Grade The Lead: AMD Sale-Lease Deal, Pot Bill Pending, STAAR Test http://kut.org/post/lead-amd-sale-lease-deal-pot-bill-pending-staar-test <p>Good morning!&nbsp;<a href="http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Austin&amp;state=TX&amp;site=EWX&amp;textField1=30.267&amp;textField2=-97.743&amp;e=1">Highs</a><a href="http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Austin&amp;state=TX&amp;site=EWX&amp;textField1=30.267&amp;textField2=-97.743&amp;e=1"> in the mid-70’s</a> today bring perfect weather for <a href="http://sxsw.com/">South By Southwest</a> music fans.</p><p><strong>Lead Story</strong>: <a href="http://www.amd.com/us/Pages/AMDHomePage.aspx">Advanced Micro Devices</a> says it is selling its southwest Austin campus and leasing it back.&nbsp;AMD says it won’t affect operations, but it will free up about $164 million in cash.</p><p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 14:21:57 +0000 KUT Staff 6936 at http://kut.org The Lead: AMD Sale-Lease Deal, Pot Bill Pending, STAAR Test Carstarphen Supports STAAR Rollback http://kut.org/post/carstarphen-supports-staar-rollback <p>Austin schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen says she supports measures to dial back standardized testing in Texas schools. One bill proposed by the head of the House Public Education Committee, <a href="http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=54">Jimmie Don Aycock</a>, R-Killeen, would reduce the number of <a href="http://kutnews.org/term/staar">STAAR tests</a> required to graduate from 15 to five.</p><p>Carstarphen says the new STAAR test was rolled out too quickly.</p> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 00:02:19 +0000 Nathan Bernier 6772 at http://kut.org Carstarphen Supports STAAR Rollback Lawmakers Turn Focus to Career/Tech Education http://kut.org/post/lawmakers-turn-focus-careertech-education <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Over the last several legislative sessions, lawmakers have been focusing on increasing the rigor of high school courses. With the goal of getting every student ready to attend college. Some business leaders say that’s come at the expense of career and technical education.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mario </span>Lozoya<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is with Toyota Texas, whose plant is located in San Antonio. He told lawmakers on the Senate Education committee Tuesday the plant is "</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">the</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> high tech" &nbsp;manufacturing facility in South Texas. Which is why he regularly visits Central Texas high schools to make sure automotive/tech students are being trained to meet the plant’s job skill requirements.</span></p><p>But, he said on many occasions, those expectations are not being met.</p><p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 6565 at http://kut.org Lawmakers Turn Focus to Career/Tech Education Former House Education Chairman Lobbying for Pearson http://kut.org/post/former-house-education-chairman-lobbying-pearson <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">Former House Public Education </span>Chairman&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/rob-eissler/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rob-eissler/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="">Rob</a><a data-tooltip="/directory/rob-eissler/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rob-eissler/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title=""> Eissler</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">&nbsp;has taken on publishing and testing giant Pearson as a client, according to recent Ethics Commission filings.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">The Republican from The Woodlands, who lost his seat in the 2012 Republican primary, is now an Austin lobbyist whose clients include the Harris County Department of Education and the Barbers Hill Independent School District.</p><p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 00:51:48 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6570 at http://kut.org Former House Education Chairman Lobbying for Pearson Bill Would Cut Back on Standardized Tests http://kut.org/post/bill-would-cut-back-standardized-tests <p>Texas high school students would have to take just five standardized tests to graduate instead of 15, under a bill filed today in the Texas House. State Rep. <a href="http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=54">Jimmie Don Aycock</a>, &nbsp;R-Killeen, says House Bill 5 would give students more flexibility to pursue vocational careers.</p><p>“Hoping that stimulates kids to find the areas that they find interesting and challenging in life, and that they begin to choose areas they want to go into, not necessarily areas the state’s trying to press them into,” Aycock said.</p> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 22:25:40 +0000 Nathan Bernier 6490 at http://kut.org Bill Would Cut Back on Standardized Tests AISD STAAR Passing Rate Higher/Lower Than Statewide http://kut.org/post/aisd-staar-passing-rate-higherlower-statewide-rate <p>Austin elementary school students performed strongly in the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. Middle schoolers didn't do quite as well.</p><p>Overall, the<a href="http://www.austin.isd.tenet.edu/articles/aisd-students-exceed-statewide-staar-passing-rates-all-third-through-fifth-grade-subject" target="_blank"> AISD passing rates for the STAAR</a>—the standardized test that replaces the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)—ranged from 82 percent in third and fourth grade reading to 58 percent in eighth grade social studies. Passing rates for most tests topped 70 percent. Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:30:00 +0000 Austin Feldman 6394 at http://kut.org AISD STAAR Passing Rate Higher/Lower Than Statewide Business Group Wants STAAR Revamped http://kut.org/post/business-group-wants-staar-revamped <p>A business lobbying group that’s been a big supporter of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index.aspx?id=2147495410&amp;menu_id=660&amp;menu_id2=795&amp;cid=2147483660">STAAR exams</a>, has called for some changes, saying that the program may have gone overboard in trying to introduce accountability so quickly.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.txbiz.org/">Texas Association of Business</a> wants to reduce the number of tests a high school senior needs to pass in order to graduate, and to push the entire program’s full implementation back three years. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 11:51:10 +0000 Mark Dewey 5895 at http://kut.org Business Group Wants STAAR Revamped Texas Education Commissioner Defers STAAR Grading Policy http://kut.org/post/texas-education-commissioner-defers-staar-grading-policy <p></p><p>For the second year in a row, end of course exams won’t necessarily count toward 15 percent of a students’ final grade.</p><p>Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced today that school districts will be allowed to apply for a waiver to the rule for the 2012-13 school year.</p><p>“You know we have to recognize that we are only in the second of the accountability system and the first year of testing,” Williams said. “There probably is some wisdom in saying, ‘Pump your brakes.’”</p><p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:58:31 +0000 Nathan Bernier 5789 at http://kut.org Texas Education Commissioner Defers STAAR Grading Policy Perry: Let School Districts Decide on 15 Percent Rule http://kut.org/post/perry-let-school-districts-decide-15-percent-rule <p><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">Gov.&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Rick Perry</a><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">&nbsp;is expressing his support for letting school districts themselves choose whether to implement a rule that requires new state assessments to count for 15 percent of high school students' final grades.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">In a written statement Thursday — the first time the governor has publicly weighed in on the issue —&nbsp; Perry praised legislation filed by state Sen.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/dan-patrick/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/dan-patrick/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Dan Patrick</a>, R-Houston, that would leave the decision up to local school districts. He also asked Texas Education Commissioner&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/michael-williams/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/michael-williams/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Michael Williams</a>&nbsp;to defer the state's rollout of the rule until the next school year.</p><p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 22:12:57 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 5780 at http://kut.org Perry: Let School Districts Decide on 15 Percent Rule Possible Flaw in State Standardized Testing http://kut.org/post/possible-flaw-state-standardized-testing <p>A UT professor has released research that could be a big problem for state testing.</p><p>Walter&nbsp;Stroup is a UT professor in charge of a pilot math program for middle school students in Dallas. The&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/design-flaw-suspected-texas-standardized-tests/">Texas Tribune&nbsp;</a></em><a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/design-flaw-suspected-texas-standardized-tests/">writes</a>&nbsp;that&nbsp;Stroup and two other researchers have compiled studies on the&nbsp;TAKS&nbsp;standardized test, which they say demonstrates an error related to the statistical method used to assemble the tests &ndash; suggesting that the tests are essentially useless at measuring effective classroom instruction.</p><p>Education company <a href="http://www.pearson.com/">Pearson</a>&nbsp;has a $468 million contract to write the state&rsquo;s standardized tests through 2015. It is also responsible for <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/school-districts-take-advantage-staar-rule-change">the controversial&nbsp;STAAR&nbsp;test</a>.</p><p> Mon, 30 Jul 2012 15:54:59 +0000 Mary Mattia 4777 at http://kut.org Possible Flaw in State Standardized Testing AM Update: STAAR Retesting Begins, Legislators Look at Funding, Durant to Olympics http://kut.org/post/am-update-staar-retesting-begins-legislators-look-funding-durant-olympics <p><strong>STAAR Retesting Begins Today</strong></p><p>Students across Texas who didn&rsquo;t pass subjects of the STAAR exam will begin <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3635&amp;menu_id=793" target="_blank">retaking the tests today</a>.</p><p>Last year&rsquo;s ninth-graders were the only students who had to pass the tests to graduate on time as seniors. Next year, the passing requirement will affect both ninth and tenth-graders. The STAAR test will <a href="http://www.txetests.com/FAQS/index.asp?c=%6011%60&amp;p=%602%60" target="_blank">continue to phase-in to each grade</a>, eventually completely replacing the TAKS test.</p><p>Also starting next year, the STAAR exam will make up 15 percent of a high school student&rsquo;s final grade in a subject. Mon, 09 Jul 2012 12:29:33 +0000 Mary Mattia & Laura Rice 4638 at http://kut.org AM Update: STAAR Retesting Begins, Legislators Look at Funding, Durant to Olympics AM Update: STAAR Heads to Public Ed Committee, Hasan Trial Delay, Juneteenth Celebration http://kut.org/post/am-update-staar-heads-public-ed-committee-hasan-trial-delay-juneteenth-celebration <p><strong>Lawmakers to Hear Testimony on&nbsp;STAAR&nbsp;Implementation</strong></p><p>State lawmakers will get an update today on how the rollout of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, known as&nbsp;STAAR, went this spring. The exam is the state&rsquo;s latest school accountability test.</p><p>Figures released this month indicated that many Texas ninth graders performed poorly on the test. As the Texas Tribune <a href="http://kut.org/2012/06/texas-schools-foot-big-bill-for-staar-retakes/">previously reported</a>, &ldquo;This year, the scores on the exams don&rsquo;t count toward high school students&rsquo; final grades or toward school districts&rsquo; accountability ratings. But a requirement that students retake a test if they do not achieve a minimum score remains in place.&rdquo; So due to low scores,&nbsp;many students will retake exams this summer.</p><p> Tue, 19 Jun 2012 11:46:46 +0000 Margaret Nicklas, Chip Skambis & Laura Rice 4505 at http://kut.org AM Update: STAAR Heads to Public Ed Committee, Hasan Trial Delay, Juneteenth Celebration AM Update: STAAR Retesting Costs, 'Stand Your Ground' Guilty Verdict, AISD Police Dog Retires http://kut.org/post/am-update-staar-retesting-costs-stand-your-ground-guilty-verdict-aisd-police-dog-retires <p><strong>STAAR Retesting Costing School Districts</strong></p><p>Hundreds of Texas students will spend time in summer classes, preparing to retake their&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/2012/06/results-are-in-for-first-starr-tests/" target="_blank">STAAR exams</a>.</p><p>The STAAR exams replaced the TAKS tests this year. As students and districts adjust to the new tests, performance standards and requirements are being phased in. The results of this year&rsquo;s scores did not affect students&rsquo; final grades, but students still have to retake tests on subjects they didn&rsquo;t achieve a minimum score in.</p><p>Our reporting partner&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/texas-schools-foot-big-bill-staar-retakes/" target="_blank">The Texas Tribune&nbsp;writes</a>&nbsp;that the summer classes and retakes are leaving schools with hefty bills, as districts have to hire teachers to conduct these classes.</p><p> Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:54:57 +0000 Laura Rice 4475 at http://kut.org AM Update: STAAR Retesting Costs, 'Stand Your Ground' Guilty Verdict, AISD Police Dog Retires Budget, STAAR, Single-Sex Schools at Tonight's AISD Meeting http://kut.org/post/budget-staar-single-sex-schools-tonights-aisd-meeting <p>Austin school board members meet tonight and they have a lot to talk about. The nine men and women who govern the largest district in Central Texas will get a first glance tonight at how well students in Austin did on the state&rsquo;s new standardized test &ndash; the STAAR exam.</p><p>So far, <a href="http://kut.org/2012/06/results-are-in-for-first-starr-tests/">much like the state outcomes</a>, AISD results <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/368025-aisd-meeting-06-11-12-staar-taks-eoc.html">are mixed</a>. Almost half of high school students failed the writing test. But more than four out of five passed the high school biology test.</p><p>Why the big difference? One major reason is this: A passing grade on the writing test is 65 percent. A passing grade in biology is 37 percent.</p><p> Mon, 11 Jun 2012 16:02:42 +0000 Nathan Bernier 4451 at http://kut.org Budget, STAAR, Single-Sex Schools at Tonight's AISD Meeting