The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, is the state testing program that was implemented in the 2011—2012 school year. The Texas Education Agency (TEA), in collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and Texas educators, developed the STAAR program in response to requirements set forth by the 80th and 81st Texas legislatures. STAAR is an assessment program designed to measure the extent to which students have learned and are able to apply the knowledge and skills defined in the state-mandated curriculum standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Every STAAR question is directly aligned to the TEKS currently implemented for the grade/subject or course being assessed. The STAAR program includes STAAR, STAAR Spanish, STAAR L (a linguistically accommodated version), and STAAR A (an accommodated version).
NO. Parents may not have students opt out of any testing. While WCISD and others might be empathetic to some of their feelings, by law there is no "opt out" for students. Please see the applicable law from the Texas Education Code pertaining to statewide accountability testing for your review and consideration:
Sec. 26.010. EXEMPTION FROM INSTRUCTION.(a) A parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity.A parent is not entitled to remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester. (b) This section does not exempt a child from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to the school district and the agency.
At grades 3–8, students are tested in mathematics and reading. Students are also tested in writing at grades 4 and 7, science at grades 5 and 8, and social studies at grade 8. Students are tested at the high school level with STAAR end-of-course (EOC) assessments for Algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history
Based on educator recommendations and as part of the development of the STAAR program, TEA identified, for each grade/subject and course assessed, a small percentage of eligible TEKS student expectations as the most critical to assess. These are called readiness standards and are defined as those student expectations that are not only essential for success in the current grade or course but also important for preparedness in the next grade or course. Readiness standards are emphasized on the assessments and are identified for each grade/subject and course tested in the Assessed Curriculum documents on the STAAR Resources webpage at http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/staar/.
YES. TEC §28.0211(a-1) requires school districts to provide accelerated instruction in the applicable subject area each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment administered in grades 3–8 (i.e., who does not achieve Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance).
Similarly, TEC §39.025(b-1) requires school districts to provide accelerated instruction to each student who fails to perform satisfactorily on a STAAR EOC assessment.
Students in grades 3–8 must be tested at their enrolled grade level as required in TEC 39.023(a). Exceptions to this requirement may exist for students receiving instruction above grade level; see the questions that follow.
These students will be required to take STAAR assessments for the subjects in which they are receiving instruction if an assessment exists. For example, a student in grade 7 who is receiving instruction in grade 8 science would take the STAAR grade 8 science assessment and the STAAR grade 7 mathematics, reading, and writing assessments.
Students in grades 3–8 who are enrolled in a high school course will take the corresponding STAAR EOC assessment in place of their grade-level assessment in that subject area. These students must take all other STAAR grade-level assessments. For example, a grade 8 student enrolled in English I will take the STAAR English I assessment as well as the STAAR grade 8 mathematics, science, and social studies assessments.
* For mathematics, these students would still be required to take their grade-level STAAR assessment since there is not a STAAR EOC assessment to take and because students are required by federal law to be assessed annually in grades 3–8 in mathematics. For example, a grade 8 student enrolled in geometry will take the STAAR grade 8 mathematics assessment (since there is not a STAAR geometry assessment) as well as the other grade 8 assessments.
* For science, students in grades 5 and 8 would still be required to take their grade-level STAAR assessment if they have not already taken it since students are required by federal law to be assessed in science at least once in elementary and once in middle school.
* For social studies, students in grade 8 would not be required to take their grade-level assessment (unless they have not taken it yet) since there is no federal requirement to test in social studies.
Regardless of enrolled grade level, students should take STAAR EOC assessments (Algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history) as they are completing the corresponding courses since these assessments are required for high school graduation based on TEC §39.025.
A student from Out-of-State is required to take STAAR EOC assessments for courses in which he or she is enrolled. However, if the new school district accepts an out-of-state credit the student is NOT required to take that corresponding course assessment in Texas school district unless the student is graduating on a foundation plan. (See TEA HB 5 Foundation Graduation Requirements)
SSI, enacted by the Texas Legislature in 1999, is a system of supports for on-grade-level student achievement in mathematics and reading at grades 5 and 8. This system of supports includes early intervention activities, research-based instructional programs, targeted accelerated instruction, and multiple testing opportunities.
Under the SSI promotion requirements, students are required to pass (meet or exceed Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance) the STAAR grade 5 mathematics and reading tests to be promoted to sixth grade. Additionally, students are required to pass (meet or exceed Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance) the STAAR grade 8 mathematics and reading tests to be promoted to ninth grade. More information about these requirements can be found on the SSI webpage at http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/ssi/.
There are three testing opportunities for students in grades 5 and 8 to pass STAAR mathematics and reading assessments in order to be promoted to the next grade. The first SSI administration is typically in early April. This administration is earlier than other STAAR mathematics and reading administrations to allow sufficient time in the school year for targeted accelerated instruction and another testing opportunity. The second testing opportunity occurs in mid-May. The third testing opportunity for SSI is in late June. The specific testing dates each year can be found on the student assessment testing calendar at http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/calendars/.
YES. If the student is enrolled in grade 5 or 8 and receiving instruction in grade 5 or 8 mathematics or reading, SSI requirements apply, even if the student passed the corresponding assessment the previous school year.
In general, students must pass (meet or exceed Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance) the five STAAR EOC assessments—Algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history—in order to earn a high school diploma from a Texas public or charter school as required in TEC §39.025.
Students who were first enrolled in grade 9 or below in the 2011–2012 school year, the first year of the STAAR program, have to meet the STAAR graduation requirements to earn a high school diploma from a Texas public or charter school. Students who repeated grade 9 or were enrolled in grade 10 or above in the 2011–2012 school year have to meet the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) graduation requirements. Districts that determined a student who was reported in PEIMS in grade 9 during the 2011–2012 school year is a TAKS graduate because of prior grade 9 attendance outside the Texas public school system must be able to provide documentation, upon request from TEA, to substantiate the district’s designation of the student as a TAKS graduate. Note that the STAAR testing cohort and the graduation rate cohort may differ. Cohort assignment for graduation rate purposes is determined by the grade level submitted by the district in PEIMS. Grades attended outside Texas public schools are not collected in PEIMS and therefore cannot be considered when determining cohort assignment for graduation rate purposes.
All five STAAR EOC assessments required for graduation—Algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history—are administered at the end of the first semester (fall), at the end of the second semester (spring), and in the summer, giving students three testing opportunities each year. The number of testing opportunities students have prior to high school graduation is dependent on when students take the corresponding course. For example, most students take biology during their freshman year. That means students have ten testing opportunities before they are scheduled to graduate. In contrast, most students take U.S. history during their junior year, giving them four testing opportunities prior to high school graduation
A student whose high school credit has been earned from out of the state or country or from a private school for a course assessed by STAAR
- is required to take the corresponding assessment if the Texas school district does not accept the course credit.
- is required to take the corresponding assessment if (1) the student is graduating on the Foundation High School Program and (2) the credit was earned after September 1, 2014, even if the Texas school district accepts the course credit from the school in which the course was taken.
- is not required to take the corresponding assessment if (1) the Texas school district accepts the course credit from the school in which the course was taken, (2) the student is graduating on the Foundation High School Program, and (3) the credit was earned prior to September 1, 2014.
- is not required to take the corresponding assessment if (1) the Texas school district accepts the course credit from the school in which the course was taken and (2) the student is graduating on the Minimum High School Program, the Recommended High School Program, or the Distinguished Achievement Program.
A student who is graduating on the Minimum High School Program, the Recommended High School Program, or the Distinguished Achievement Program and who has completed a high school course prior to spring 2012 (e.g., a grade 8 student who completed Algebra I during the 2010–2011 school year or a grade 9 student who completed English I in the first semester of the 2011–2012 school year) is not required to take the corresponding STAAR EOC assessment to fulfill his or her graduation requirement.
No. Once a student passes (meets or exceeds Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance) a STAAR EOC assessment, the student has fulfilled that part of his or her graduation requirement and cannot retest.
No. The student has already received instruction in the entire course and is eligible to retest. The district must ensure that the student is provided an opportunity to test to meet his or her graduation requirement each time the assessment is offered.
For a student who achieves Level II or Level III on the STAAR Algebra II and/or English III assessments, TEC §51.3062(g-1) provides an exemption from TSI requirements in the corresponding content area. Note that the STAAR Algebra II and English III assessments are scheduled to be administered on a voluntary basis beginning in spring 2016. At this point, TEA does not offer a state-administered assessment that provides an exemption from TSI requirements. However, other assessments are available for this purpose.