• The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) presents interesting challenges for schools throughout Texas. Many schools rely on released items and other STAAR-aligned resources for their benchmark and assessment programs. These items are aligned to the STAAR blueprint, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and expectations in effect at the time of administration. Those expectations have increased in complexity and rigor since the  administration. 

    The implementation of revisions in the TEKS, and deep analysis and comparison of available information about the STAAR assessment program indicates that ongoing updates and alignments are necessary to assure fidelity in formative or benchmark assessment results. Due to the increases in rigor, districts face the task of reviewing and redeveloping their assessment programs to meet increasing expectations for accountability at the federal, state, and local level.

    Addressing the Challenge
    As information about the STAAR is released, Region One ESC proactively reviews and internalizes the impact STAAR will have on students, classrooms, schools, districts, and the support systems that are provided to ensure that all students master the curriculum (TEKS) and are successful in demonstrating mastery (STAAR). Significant time is invested in the analysis of the HB3 Transition Plan, STAAR Blueprints, revised TEKS, evaluating relevant research, and accessing key experts in order to develop a systemic framework to address the challenges presented by the STAAR. 

    What We Now Know
    The STAAR poses challenges for Texas students and educators. These include increases in cognitive complexity and rigor. The assessments are more focused on readiness standards, readiness for the next grade level and college readiness. Assessments are more in depth and performance standard expectatoins will continue to increase.

    What Does This All Mean?
    To provide teachers with useful data to inform instruction, assessment practices need to change. Campuses and administrators need more reliable and relevant information to effectively direct systemic planning, instruction, and intervention practices. 

    Jean Haverstick
    Innovative Projects Coordinator 
    (956) 984-6065
    Angie Iglesias
    Lead Program Assistant
    (956) 984-6022