Students in Texas are undergoing STAAR testing this week, an exam that will affect their overall grades next year.
This year, the 15% accountability from the STAAR exam for the student's overall grade is waived, but it will count next year. Some of the grades between third and ninth are having the students test this week. For high school, only the current ninth graders as well as incoming freshmen will have to take the STAAR exam. The rest will continue taking the TAKS test.
Tascosa High School Students tell us what they think about the new STAAR exam. They were tested in reading and writing. Edith Albarran says, "The STAAR test was easier than TAKS. It was just timed. And we got to use dictionaries." Denyale Jalali says, "It was a lot easier. I thought it was. It had less questions, and it was just easy. We took a simulation before. So we were kind of prepared. And we kind of knew what was going to go on."
There are still many unknowns about the STAAR test. But Amarillo's District Core Curriculum Specialist Devia Cearlock says they will use the results from this year to better prepare students for next year.
She says, "We don't know what the passing standard is on any of the tests yet. But as soon as we get the results back, we spend a lot of time looking through those results. And trying to figure out what it tells us about our curriculum. If there something we need to work on. Is there an area that we need to get more resources. So the results are really important to us. "
There will be more STAAR testing in other subject areas in April and May.