STAAR Grades 3-8
STAAR™ will include the following assessments beginning in grade 3:
Performance standards for STAAR at grades 3–8 will be set in fall 2012, after the first spring administration of STAAR.
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. The new STAAR tests will be significantly more rigorous than previous tests. A more rigorous assessment, means a more demanding curriculum, which means higher student expectations. HEB ISD has already begun the process of revising our curriculum to meet the expectations of the more rigorous STAAR tests. It is our history in HEB ISD, that every time the state has raised the bar for student testing our staff, students, and families not only meet but exceed these higher expectations.
However, in order for your child to meet and exceed the state’s expectations it is important that every parent is familiar with the changes in the new state assessment standards that come with the implementation of STAAR. Please continue to explore this website for basic information and refer to the TEA website for the latest details.
What’s different about STAAR?
Although the subject areas assessed by STAAR are the same as those assessed by TAKS in grades 3-8, STAAR will include more rigorous 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 the STAAR End-Of-Course (EOC) assessments.
Reading & Writing: 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.
Science & Math: 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.
My child hasn't reached 3rd grade yet, why should testing be a concern now?
If you are the parent of a student in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, or second grade you may be wondering why it is important for you to understand the changes in our state assessment when testing doesn't begin until third grade. The early grades are critical to success on our state assessment and set the foundation for students to achieve at a commended level. Reading on grade level by the beginning of third grade is a district goal for every student and a predictor of future success for your child.
Students are learning to read in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, and second grades. Then beginning in third grade and beyond students are reading to learn. In HEB ISD, students at all grade levels must pass the state assessment, including the early reading assessment in the early grades in order to promote to the next grade level.
How does STAAR™ affect junior school students enrolled in a high-school level course (e.g. Algebra I)?
Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, junior high students enrolled in high school-level courses will be required to take the corresponding end-of-course (EOC) assessment. The student's EOC score must count toward 15 percent of the final course grade and count toward the cumulative score.
Junior High students who completed a high school level course prior to Spring 2012, such as an eighth-grader who took Algebra I during 2010-2011, would not be required to take the corresponding EOC assessment. If the student decides to take the EOC, the score would only be counted in the overall cumulative score for that subject area if it benefits the student.
(Please visit the 9-12 tab for more information about EOC assessments and their impact on course grades and high school graduation.)