Please read this information carefully so you have the information you need to assist your child to master the skills that are tested on the new Texas Assessment. The results on these VERY RIGOROUS TESTS will be part of the data used to decide if your child is ready to move to the next grade level along with report card grades. The days of sliding by from grade level to grade level are over. SCHOOL IS SERIOUS BUSINESS and OUR STUDENTS NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT SCHOOL IS THEIR JOB.
Parents can assist their children by doing the following: • Stress that school is IMPORTANT. • Stress that good behavior is ESSENTIAL. Every minute a student is out of the classroom for behavioral reasons, is a minute of instruction and learning that is missed. Hold your children responsible for both good and poor choices. This is a life skill that is needed for a successful life. • INSIST that homework is taken seriously and is completed as homework is practice of important skills. • READ for at least 20-30 minutes EVERY day. • Have conversations with your child that involve CRITICAL THINKING so their thinking processes are developed. • PRACTICE the subject vocabulary and basic math facts so that these tools are developed and can be used to solve the complex problems that are required by the STAAR test.
1. What is STAAR?
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) program beginning in spring 2012. The STAAR program at grades 3–8 will assess the same grades and subjects as are assessed on TAKS. For high school, general subject-area TAKS tests will be replaced with twelve STAAR end-of-course (EOC) assessments.
2. What are the most significant differences between the STAAR assessments and the TAKS assessments?
• The rigor of items has been increased by assessing skills at a greater depth and level of cognitive complexity. In this way the tests will be better able to measure a greater range of student achievement and establish stronger links to postsecondary readiness.
• The total number of test items for the STAAR assessments has been increased for most grades, subjects, and courses.
• A four-hour time limit has been established for STAAR assessments, as opposed to TAKS, which was un-timed.
• In reading assessments for STAAR, greater emphasis will be given to critical analysis rather than literal understanding.
• Most STAAR mathematics and science assessments will have an increased number of open-ended items to allow students the opportunity to derive an answer independently without being influenced by the answer choices provided with the questions.
3. How will student performance be described on STAAR?
There will be two cut scores, which will identify three performance categories. For the general STAAR assessments, STAAR Modified, and STAAR L, the labels for the performance categories are
Aldine Independent School District does not discriminate against persons because of race, creed, national origin, age, sex, disabilities, economic status or language disability in employment, promotion or educational programming. Any complaints or grievances which cannot be solved at campus level through the principal may be submitted in writing to Dr. Archie Blanson, Deputy Superintendent, 14910 Aldine Westfield Rd., Houston, TX 77032.