About the STAAR Test

Logan Wilkov, Staff Writer

As Keller High School approaches the end of the 2019-2020 school year, students enrolled in English I and II, Algebra I, U.S. History, and Biology are required to take and pass tests known as State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). But what exactly are STAAR tests?

The STAAR is constructed based on Texas’ curriculum standards, the Essential Knowledge and Skills. A sequence of standardized tests is applied in Texas primary and secondary public schools every school year. The sole purpose of these end-of-course tests is to verify that students of grades 3-12 are properly learning and understanding the course information to better them for their future. 

STAAR was introduced because the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) was revoked by the Texas Senate Bill 1031 back in the spring of 2007. This bill replaced universal tests with end-of-course assessments for classes every year. In the spring of 2012, STAAR replaced TAKS, but excluded students who enrolled in 10th grade before the 2011-2012 school year. The very last students who took the TAKS test have since graduated in 2015, even though these tests were removed, some policies of TAKS remain.

The STAAR is proven to be a much more meticulous assessment when compared to TAKS. More material at a higher complexity level is covered in STAAR tests. Students are required to write two instead of one essay in writing exams. In science and mathematics, there are an increased number of open-ended/griddable questions that force the students to calculate answers unaided. 

These standardized tests are given to students at their school, in normal classrooms with other participating students. Classrooms are organized and arranged to make it an easy test-taking atmosphere to focus on. The English exams are five hours and Algebra I, U.S. History, and Biology tests are four hours. Certain accommodations that are needed can be solved by simply changing the setting of where the student may take the test, such as another school.

Just a reminder for Keller students: stay motivated through the last weeks of the second semester. Push through and finish strong in this school year whether it is your first or last year of high school!

Upcoming STAAR test dates:

Tuesday, April 7th: English I

Wednesday, April 8th: English II 

Tuesday, May 5th: Algebra I and U.S. History

Wednesday, May 6th: Biology

Thursday, May 7th: Makeup Date