The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test was implemented in spring 2012, replacing the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. STAAR is a standardized test given in the state of Texas to primary and secondary students. It is state mandated, which means if a public school is to receive funds in the state of Texas, they must give this test and your child is not allowed to opt out of them. Private schools, charter schools and homeschooling students are not required to take it. STAAR Testing dates typically occur in the spring months around April.
Your child will be given 4 hours to complete the STAAR test (5 hours for English I and II only.).
For the younger students, grades 3-8, the test is given as a marker for their progress made over the course of the year. For instance in elementary and middle school, the STAAR’s content is focused on what is taught during the current academic year rather than knowledge and skills learned over multiple years. In 5th and 8th grade, a student may only advance to the next grade level by passing the reading and math tests or by unanimous decision of his or her Grade Placement Committee. Students have three opportunities to pass mathematics and reading.
As students reach high school, however, the tests (English I and II, Algebra I, Biology and History) must be passed, as part of the students’ requirements for graduation. STAAR EOC (End-of-Course) assessments test high school students’ mastery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a given course and determine each student’s college and career readiness.
The STAAR test program includes annual assessments for the following:
- reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
- writing at grades 4 and 7
- science at grades 5 and 8
- social studies at grade 8
- end-of-course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, English III Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology and U.S history.
TEA shares two types of test questions for the STAAR program—sample questions and test forms. Sample test questions are small subsets of test questions released from the STAAR test banks. These test questions may have been previously administered. A test form is a set of released test questions previously administered together to Texas students which reflects the STAAR test blueprints.
Once students have taken a STAAR assessment they will receive a score indicating their performance. Students will fall in to one of the three categories below:
- Level III: Advanced Academic Performance
- Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance
- Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance
STAAR is available in a variety of formats to serve students who are in the special education program or who are English language learners (ELL).