STAAR – State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness
STAAR – The Next Generation
A new testing journey began with the launch of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR™ in the 2011–2012 school year. The standardized testing program includes tests for students in grades 3–12. The new rigorous program focuses on readiness for success in subsequent grades and courses and, ultimately, for college and career.
STAAR is the state’s student testing program. Over the course of their public school career, students will be tested in the core subject areas–reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. The number of tests taken each year varies from two to four, depending on the grade level.
The STAAR tests for elementary and middle school grades cover the same subjects and grades as the previous testing program, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). At the high school level, 15 (EOC) assessments have replaced grade-specific tests.
The STAAR is more rigorous than previous state tests. It contains more test questions at most grade levels. The majority of new STAAR assessments test material students studied that year. In contrast, TAKS high-school level tests were required by law to test content studied over multiple years. The changes in the testing program are most apparent at the high school level. Under the TAKS program, students took two tests in ninth grade and four tests in both 10th and 11th grade. A student was required to pass the four exit-level tests given at 11th grade in order to graduate. This system was replaced with 15 EOC assessments, which students will take whenever they take the corresponding course. The STAAR EOC scores will account for 15 percent of a student’s final grade in the associated course however the Commissioner of Education has suspended this for 2012 and 2013.
Students entering the ninth grade in the 2011–2012 school year were the first class required to take STAAR EOC assessments.
The 15 EOC assessments are:
• English I Reading, English I Writing, English II Reading, English II Writing, English III Reading, English III Writing
• Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
• Biology, Chemistry, Physics
• World Geography, World History, and U.S. History
If a student is enrolled in grade 8 or below and is taking a course for which there is a STAAR EOC assessment, that student will be required to take the applicable STAAR EOC assessment.
Students will spend two to five days out of the 180-day instructional year taking state tests. High school students who must meet testing requirements to earn a diploma will have additional retesting days available if needed. Students in fifth and eighth grade who must meet promotion requirements will also have the retesting opportunities.
Students who meet the qualifications for Special Education services are required to take STAAR tests. The admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee for a student who receives special education services will determine the appropriate test. Some students will take the general STAAR. Others will take the STAAR Modified, which covers the same content as the general STAAR but uses a modified format and test design, such as fewer answer choices and simpler sentence structure and vocabulary. STAAR Alternate will be available for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
Additional information may be found on the Texas Education Agency site: