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HIGH SCHOOL ASSESSMENTS

STAAR end-of-course (EOC) exams that will be required for graduation:

  • Algebra I
  • Biology
  • English I
  • English II
  • U.S. History


HIGH SCHOOL

Background of STAAR for High School

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) starting in the 2011-2012 school year. New ninth-grade students entering high school in 2011-2012 and beyond will fall under the STAAR testing system and graduation requirements. Current high school students who entered prior to 2011-2012 will remain under the TAKS system and their existing graduation requirements.

The most significant difference between the TAKS and STAAR testing systems will be seen at the high school level. Under the TAKS system, high school students have to pass only four exit-level tests to graduate, which do not count toward their course grades. Under STAAR, first time high school freshmen in 2011-2012 will be required to take 5 end-of-course (EOC) assessments, English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History.

Please use the table of contents below to better familiarize yourself with this complex system and prepare your high school student(s) for academic success.


STAAR transition timeline

Source: Texas Education Agency Student Assessment Division, December 2010

 
Students not enrolled in a class would not be required to take the EOC exam for that course. Students will initially take the STAAR tests listed above during the spring semester of enrollment in the class. For students who fail to reach the passing requirements, numerous retesting opportunities will also be offered.

The STAAR EOC tests focus on the content for a specific course compared to TAKS tests that covered general subject knowledge by grade level.

STAAR includes more difficult testing and require a higher level of student performance than TAKS required. The English I and II tests will cover both writing and reading. These English EOCs will require students to write more essays and place greater emphasis on critical analysis of reading passages rather than literal understanding. For English I, students will write literary and expository compositions. For English II, students will write expository and persuasive compositions.

On the biology and algebra I EOCs, STAAR will include a type of open-ended question known as a griddable item. The purpose of griddable items is to allow students to develop answers independently without being influenced by answer choices provided with the questions (commonly known as multiple-choice). The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has provided furthur explanation about griddable items at www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/.

Illustrations of the test design, scoring rubrics, reference materials, and released test are available at www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/.


Performance Standards

For the general STAAR assessments, STAAR Modified, and linguistically accommodated forms of STAAR, the labels for the performance categories are

  • Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance
    Performance in this category indicates that students are inadequately prepared for the next grade or course. They do not demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the assessed knowledge and skills. Students in this category are unlikely to succeed in the next grade or course without significant, ongoing academic intervention. 
  • Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance
    Performance in this category indicates that students are sufficiently prepared for the next grade or course. They generally demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts. Students in this category have a reasonable likelihood of success in the next grade or course but may need short-term, targeted academic intervention.
  • Level III: Advanced Academic Performance*
    Performance in this category indicates that students are well prepared for the next grade or course. They demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in varied contexts, both familiar and unfamiliar. Students in this category have a high likelihood of success in the next grade or course with little or no academic intervention.

For the STAAR Alternate assessments, the performance labels are:

  • Level III: Accomplished Academic Performance
  • Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance
  • Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance

 

Satisfactory Academic Performance on the EOCs will be considered passing.  If a student does not achieve a Satisfactory Academic Performance score on an EOC assessment, the student shall retake the assessment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my student passes the course but fails the corresponding STAAR EOC assessment?

A student will not be required to retake a course as a condition of retaking the EOC assessment for that course. Districts will be required to provide accelerated instruction to any student who fails a STAAR assessment. Students who pass a course but fail the assessment for that course may require additional instruction in that course even after they are no longer enrolled. Multiple retest opportunities will be provided to students.