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STAAR Test to Replace TAKS

Feb. 3, 2010

Texas is raising the bar on education, making curriculum pre-K - 12 more in line with skills needed for life outside of public school, whether that's college or a career. That's why the STAAR or State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam will soon replace the TAKS or Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test beginning in the 2011 and 2012 school year. Debbie Ratcliffe is the Director of Communications for the Texas Education Agency.

Although the new test narrows its focus on specific subjects, this also means it will be more in-depth and a harder test.

In 2007, the Texas legislature passed SB 1031 mandating that End of Course Exams replace the high school TAKS test. The Texas Legislature then passed HB 3 in 2009 requiring a change in the elementary and middle school testing programs. Marsha Ridlehuber is the Assistant Superintendent of Accountability and Assessment for Waco ISD. As an educator and administrator she has seen many transitions in state testing, TEAMS to TAAS, TAAS to TAKS and now TAKS to STAAR.

Marsha expects there will be growing pains for WISD, but no different than what other districts across the state might experience. She says whenever there is a change in testing and accountability people need to initially expect a drop in test scores before seeing an increase. Ratings will be suspended in 2012 when the new STAAR tests rollout. It will be two years before the first round of STAAR end of course testing will take effect, so there is time for teachers, administrators, and students to prepare. Those students in 7th grade now, class of 2015, will be the first to graduate under the new system.

For KWBU news, I'm Jacqueline Deavenport.

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