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Big Changes Starting For Standardized Testing Statewide

Updated: Wednesday, August 28 2013, 06:13 AM CDT
College students aren’t the only ones getting back into their school routine today. This week is the first week of school for thousands of students across Central Texas, and along with this new school year comes major changes to standardized testing, specifically the STAAR test.

This year, if kids want to graduate, they need to pass five STAAR tests, down from 15. Those tests are Algebra I, English I and II, Biology, and U.S. History. The controversial rule that made the tests count for 15% of the students’ final grade is gone, too, along with the cumulative score component. Also, reading and writing tests will now we given on the same day. The state is no longer requiring accelerated instruction on the ten subjects cut out from STAAR. However, for kids in grades 3-8, the requirements stay the same.

This year, to help kids prep for the STAAR test, the Texas Education Agency put questions and answers from last year’s test on their website, which the Commissioner says hopes it helps kids better prepare for the test:

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/testquestions/

The TEA is also rolling out a new ratings system. Besides test results, it also looks at student and school progress and student’s preparation for life after high school. The TEA Commissioner hopes it will boost low-performing schools.

Going forward, just like kids get a letter grade for their classes, the state will be grading districts as A-F starting in 2016. This fall, they’ll figure out how to grade them until that happens.
Big Changes Starting For Standardized Testing Statewide


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