The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™) will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) starting in the 2011-2012 school year. STAAR™ will include assessments in the following grades and subjects at the elementary level:
- 3rd – Mathematics & Reading (including English and Spanish versions)
- 4th – Mathematics, Reading & Writing (including English & Spanish versions)
- 5th – Mathematics, Reading & Science (including English & Spanish versions)
What’s different about STAAR™?
STAAR will include more difficult testing methods and require a higher level of student performance. Assessments will increase in length at most grades and subjects. There will also be a four-hour time limit for the STAAR grades 3–8 assessments and the STAAR EOC assessments.
For reading, greater emphasis will be placed on critical analysis of passages rather than literal understanding. The writing test will require more essays in both first-person and expository styles. On the science and mathematics tests, STAAR will include a type of open-ended question known as a griddable item. The purpose of griddable items is to allow students to develop answers independently without being influenced by answer choices provided with the questions (commonly known as multiple-choice). Most science and mathematics assessments will include three to five griddable items. Illustrations of the test design for grades 3-8 are available at www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/.
Performance standards for STAAR at grades 3–8 will be set in fall 2012, after the first spring administration of STAAR.
How does STAAR™ affect promotion to the next grade level?
For the 2011-2012 school year only, the Student Success Initiative (SSI) promotion requirements for grades 5 and 8 will not include STAAR results. Students will be assessed for promotion to the next grade by other academic information, such as grades and teacher recommendations. This transition between the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years is necessary since performance standards for STAAR at grades 3-8 will not be set until fall 2012.
Districts will be required to provide remediation to any student who fails a STAAR assessment, whether in grades 3-8 or high school.