A STAAR is now born…

From TABS to TEAMS to TAAS to TAKS, a new STAAR is born in the state of Texas.  The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) is the newest testing program from a history of evolving programs in the state educational system.  Here’s a little Texas testing trivia to test you:

  • When TABS started in 1980, it was the state’s first mandated test administered to students in third, fifth, and ninth grades in reading, math, and writing.
  • In 1986, TEAMS tested reading, math, and writing in first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh grades; it was also the first test students were required to pass in order to earn a diploma.
  • In use from 1990 to 2002, TAAS tested reading, math, and writing, ultimately to students in third through eighth grades and tenth grade with science and social studies added.  Spanish-language tests were made available for the first time and four end-of-course (EOC) exams provided another option for meeting graduation requirements.
  • By 2003, the TAKS was presented to assess math, reading, writing, language arts, science and social studies.  Students in grades 3 – 11 were tested and promotion requirements (Student Success Initiative—or SSI) were added while graduation requirements were expanded to include all core subject areas. (Source:  TEA)

So why care about this?  It’s been a while since a new test was rolled out in Texas.  STAAR comes with much ambiguity.  Please know this:  our teachers are leaders in Midlothian ISD and continue to be on their quest for answers by attending conferences and sessions specific to their content areas, then tying this knowledge to the one item we do know well—the TEKS (state curriculum).  They are increasing the rigor in our classrooms and our learners (and their families) are feeling these growing pains!  They are sharing their new knowledge with your learner and with you.  (I especially appreciate our fifth grade team of leaders who stepped out tonight to share specific examples with the fifth grade parents who attended our meeting—thanks for rigorously coming out tonight!).

Yes, there is always uncertainty surrounding the launch of something new.  As I tell us during morning message though:  Plan your work; work your plan; autograph your work with personal excellence.  We know your learner will shine to his or her personal best as a new STAAR is born in Texas!

Note:  Testing Weeks are March 26 – 30 and April 23 – 27.  Because of testing security and schedules, please remember we are a closed campus to visitors and volunteers during these times.  These are the only times we do not welcome you to join us during the instructional day.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

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