Get ready to say goodbye to TAKS and hello to STAAR! This school year (2011-2012), the state’s standardized testing program, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) will be replaced by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). For high school students, End of Course (EOC) tests for certain high school courses will begin replacing TAKS tests in 2011-2012. For grades 3-8, TAKS tests will be replaced by the more rigorous STAAR tests.
- Students who are currently in 9th grade will be the first to take the End ofCourse tests
- Under the new EOC system, students will be required to pass 15 End of Course exams in order to graduate
- Test scores on each of the required End of Course exams will count for 15% of the student’s final grade in the course
Although the details of the new STAAR system are still being worked out by the Texas Education Agency, McKinney Independent School District is committed to preparing our students and our staff for this transition.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which courses have an EOC test?
There are 4 content areas that are tested – English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. In each content area, there will be 3 subject tests. In the ELA area, each subject test is broken into 2 parts, for a total of 15 EOC tests: ELA – English I (Writing & Reading), English II (Writing & Reading), English III (Writing & Reading) Math – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II Social Studies – World Geography, World History, American History Science – Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
What do students have to make on each test in order to graduate?
Students must achieve a cumulative score “at least equal to the product of the number of EOC assessments taken in that content area and a scale score that indicates satisfactory performance”. (> n x passing scale score).
Passing scale score will be determined by TEA in February 2012
Student must achieve a minimum score on an EOC exam for the score to count toward the cumulative score
Cumulative score requirement may vary by subject area
If a student retests, the highest score is used to determine the cumulative score
Are there different requirements for the Minimum, Recommended, and Distinguished Graduation plans?
Minimum Plan – Meet the cumulative score requirement, based on the number of courses a student takes for which an EOC assessment exists
Recommended Plan – In addition to the cumulative score requirement, students must perform satisfactorily on the EOC assessments for Algebra II and English III
Distinguished Plan – In addition to the cumulative score requirement, students must perform satisfactorily on the college readiness component of the Algebra II and English III EOC assessments
What about retesting?
If a student doesn’t achieve the minimum score required, then the student SHALL retake the assessment.
If the student doesn’t perform satisfactorily on the college-readiness components for Algebra II or English III, the student MAY retake the assessment.
A student does NOT have to retake a course in order to retake an EOC assessment.
Does the EOC test score count for anything?
Yes. The student’s score on an EOC assessment will be worth 15% of the student’s final grade for that course. Districts are NOT required to use a retest score to calculate the final grade for the course.
Is there a time limit on the new tests?
At this point, TEA is implementing a 4 hour limit per exam.
What’s the difference between TAKS tests and the new EOC/STAAR tests?
The new EOC/STAAR tests are significantly more rigorous, measuring performance on a deeper level.
Just how much harder are the EOC tests than the current TAKS tests?
Based on field test data for 2010 Algebra I (the test that has been field tested the longest), if the passing standard was designated by the state as 70%, only 45% of the students state-wide who took the test would have passed. (This is based on over 101,000 student results.)
Will the tests be online or on paper?
Grade 3-8 assessments will be on paper only. Secondary assessments may be either online or on paper.
What about the middle school students currently taking Algebra I and/or Geometry? Which tests do they take?
Students who are enrolled in a high school course will take the EOC assessment as required for graduation. Local policy will determine whether they also take the STAAR grade-level assessment.
How will non-traditional methods of course work (such as dual credit, correspondence courses, etc.) be affected?
If a student receives credit in a course for which an EOC asessment is offered, the student is required to take the EOC assessment for graduation purposes, regardless of the setting in which the student takes the course.
Since there are 15 exams, will the tests be scattered throughout the spring?
No. Assessments may not be administered earlier than the first full week in May. An exception allows English I, II, and III to be administered earlier in the spring. The tentative schedule for 2011-2012 from TEA indicates English testing March 26-30, 2012 and other EOC tests May 7-18, 2012.
What are the testing options for special education students?
TEA is developing modified and alternate versions of assessments to be offered under the STAAR program.
How will the transition from TAKS to STAAR affect our school and/or district’s accountability ratings?
The last TAKS-based accountability ratings were issued in 2011. Accountability ratings will be suspended in 2012. The new state rating system will debut in 2013.
Where can I go to find additional information?
STAAR Questions and Answer page