About the New STAAR Tests
Beginning in spring, 2012, Texas will phase in new high-stakes mandatory standardized tests called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR. STAAR will eventually replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for all Texas students.
For high school students, the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) requires a completely new testing structure with 12 end-of-course (EOC) assessments in the following subjects: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English I, English II, English III, World Geography, World History, and U.S. History. The three English exams consist of two separate assessments, one for reading and one for writing, so students must actually pass 15 standardized tests to graduate.
Unlike previous state tests, STAAR test scores are required to count for 15 percent of a student’s course grade, ultimately affecting Grade Point Averages, class rank, graduation rates and college admissions. Graders. After statewide outcry, the TEA Commissioner recently granted local school districts the authority to opt out of this requirement for the first year only.
The new STAAR EOC assessments are being implemented this spring for all students enrolled in 9th grade or below. Students currently enrolled in 10th grade and above will continue to take the TAKS tests for their remaining high school years. For grades 3-8, the STAAR program will assess the same subjects and grades that are currently assessed on TAKS.
More general information about STAAR and EOC assessments can be found on the Texas Education Agency website: www.tea.state.tx.us.