Cognitive ComplexityThe cognitive complexity of the assessment has been increasing since STAAR was first introduced. Students are expected to demonstrate “college readiness” skills
inall grade levels. The test includes a higher percentage of items to measure grade-to-grade level proficiency and college readiness. Attention to cognitive complexity is important as older items may lack appropriate alignments to current standards and testing expectations.RigorThe level of rigor has increased emphasizing the content standards that best prepare students for the next grade or course. Assessments increased in length and overall difficulty. Difficulty was increased by adding more rigorous items and assessing skills at greater depthand levels of cognitive complexity.
STAAR assessments are more focused. TEA has made a distinction between Readiness and Supporting standards. Assessments emphasize the Readiness standards necessary for success and preparedness for the next grade level. Supporting standards remain
instructionallyimportant and eligible for testing butmay not all be tested each year.
The relationship between the TEKS and STAAR assessment program and proportional representation of items assessed through Readiness/Supporting standards are more clearly delineated.
To focus on preparedness for student success in subsequent grades and courses, and ultimately in college and/or a career, the STAAR assessments assess skills in a deeper way than previous state assessments through the inclusion of items measuring higher level thinking and greater cognitive complexity.
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