Tag Archives: EOC

Free tutorials available for students needing to retake STAAR exams 

High school students who need to retake one or more STAAR End of Course Exams have unlimited access to free online tutorials that can help them master the concepts and learning objectives that are challenging them.

STAAR EOC retest exams for English I and II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History will be given Dec. 5-9.  Students can start preparing for these exams with Apex Learning Tutorials, a districtwide, online resource that allows students to customize their learning to the style they prefer.

A pre-test for each topic is available to help retesters focus on the skills and topics they need to master. The tutorials also offer interactive paths in each topic, such as “Learn it – Try it – Review it – Test it.”

Students can look up their campus code here and enroll themselves in the tutorials.  A “how-to” guide is available here to walk students through the process.

In addition to STAAR EOCs, students can enroll themselves in any of the following classes:

  • College Readiness – TSI, ACT & SAT
  • Adapted English 6th – English III
  • Adapted Math 6th – Algebra II

Questions can be directed to the HISD Virtual School Department at 713-556-7295 or emailed to vschool@houstonisd.org.

TEA commissioner to approve STAAR EOC performance standards in mid-April

On April 5, the Texas Education Agency posted a revised timeline showing the commissioner approving STAAR end-of-course exam standards in mid-April:

March 26-29 STAAR Testing (grades 3-8 and EOC)
   Mid April EOC Standards Approved by Commissioner
   April 16 First meeting of the Academic Achievement Distinction Designation Committee (AADDC)
   April 24-27 STAAR Testing (grades 3-8)
   May 7-18 STAAR Testing (EOC)
   May Second meeting of the ATAC
   Early June EOC results available with standards

Click here to view the entire 2013 Accountability System Development Timeline.

Transcript from today’s live chat on STAAR


Thank you for joining us for a live chat about STAAR. Our panelists are ready to take your questions. We have with us Mark Shenker (High School Office), Richard Blair (Middle School Office), Angela Borzon (High School Office) and Angela Miller (Curriculum). We will make every effort to answer your questions today – if we experience technical difficulties, we will switch to Twitter and replace the chat window with a live feed.

[Comment From HISD parentHISD parent: ] 

Is it better to guess on a question or leave it blank if you don’t know the answer?


Wrong answers are not counted against a student; they simply do not get credit for the question. The raw score for multiple choice items reflects the total number of correct responses. There is no downside to guessing if a student does not have time to review answer choices.


HISD reaches out to Hispanic community with live STAAR forum in Spanish

Panelists will be taking questions from studio audience and callers

The Houston Independent School District is reaching out to its Spanish-speaking community and familiarizing them with the new state-mandated STAAR exam by broadcasting a live STAAR Forum in Spanish on Tuesday, March 6, from 7 to 8 p.m. on HISD TV.

This live Spanish forum will provide parents and students the opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns about STAAR with a panel of bilingual experts, including administrators and school principals. The panelists will also outline the chief differences between the previous state exam, TAKS, and STAAR, and discuss the state’s recent decision giving school districts the option of deferring implementation of the requirement that high school students’ scores on STAAR end-of-course exams count toward their class grades

Viewers can participate by submitting questions through HISD’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, via e-mail to STAAR@houstonisd.org or by calling during the forum to 713-556-8901. 

What:         Live STAAR Forum in Spanish

Who:          HISD parents, students and STAAR panelists

When:        Tuesday, March 6, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Where:       HISD-TV (Comcast, Ch. 18 and AT&T U-Verse, Ch. 99) and online at www.houstonisd.org/HISDTV.

Another opportunity to learn about STAAR: live forum Tuesday, Feb. 28, on HISD-TV

 HISD will be hosting a live STAAR forum (in English) for parents, students, and staff on Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 7 to 8 p.m. A panel of experts will answer questions from a studio audience and viewers at home.

Westside High School student Khadijah Ray promotes the Feb. 28 STAAR forum.

Viewers can watch it live on HISD-TV (Comcast, Ch. 18 and AT&T U-Verse, Ch. 99) or online at www.houstonisd.org/HISDTV. To submit questions, simply call 713-556-8901 or email STAAR@houstonisd.org.

You can also follow the forum and ask your questions via Twitter – follow @HoustonISD.

A similar forum will be held on March 6 for Spanish-speakers.

The show will air again at 10 p.m. on Feb. 28, and throughout the months of February and March on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
  • Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays at 2 p.m. 

To find out more about STAAR, click here or visit the HISD STAAR Q&A blog.

House letter to TEA: 15% requirement in first year of STAAR “not fair or good policy”

The Chair of the House Committee on Public Education, Rep. Rob Eissler, has invited House members to co-sign the following letter formally requesting the commissioner to defer implementation of the 15% rule.

Letter to TEA

The letter says the suspension of ratings for districts during the first year – while students are held accountable – is “not fair or good policy.”

For the 2011-2012 school year, districts will not receive an accountability rating as we transition into the new system, but unfortunately our students are being held accountable for all provisions immediately. This is not fair or good policy.

Current law requires that an end-of-course assessment be counted as 15% of a students final grade in a course. We would like to formally request that you defer the 15% provision for the 2011-2012 school year. ……. We strongly believe this action is in the best interest of our ninth grade students.


All HISD parents invited to attend STAAR info session this Thursday

Get the latest on STAAR – including new developments on when the “15 percent rule” will take effect

The STAAR test made headlines this week as state officials supported the delay of a controversial requirement surrounding end-of-course (EOC) exams. The rule, which requires that EOC exams count for 15 percent of a student’s final grade in a course, is to take effect this year for first-time ninth-graders.

In recent weeks, Texas lawmakers have voiced their support for delaying the 15 percent requirement until the 2012-2013 school year.

HISD and other Texas school districts are awaiting guidance from TEA regarding any potential changes to STAAR, including EOCs impacting final course grades. As testing dates approach, it’s important for parents to understand the latest changes and be familiar with the format of the test. Students will begin taking the STAAR test in late March.

All HISD parents are invited to attend an informational session this Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. STAAR experts will give an overview of the changes for elementary, middle and high school students. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters as well as a panel of district officials representing multiple areas, including special education.

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In the news: Senators’ letter on deferral of STAAR requirement

Following are links to news stories about yesterday’s letter from four state senators regarding the requirement that STAAR end-of-course exams count for 15 percent of a student’s final course grade:

Shapiro says TEA can waive STAAR requirement (Texas Tribune)

Senators support deferral of end-of-course exams’ effect on final grades (Dallas Morning News)

Central Texas districts vary on handling of new end-of-course exams (Austin American-Statesman)

Shapiro back delay on STAAR grade provision (Austin American-Statesman)

Don’t like the effects of STAAR tests on education? Opt out (Austin American-Statesman)



Senators send letter to education commissioner on delaying “15 percent rule” for STAAR end-of-course exams

Today, Senators Florence Shapiro, Royce West, Kel Seliger, and Dan Patrick sent the following letter to Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott regarding the end-of-course (EOC) examinations/STAAR:

Shapiro Letter of Intent

The letter gives the commissioner authority to delay the requirement that an end-of-course assessment count as 15% of a student’s final grade.  Although no official response to the letter has been issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), we expect the agency to move in this direction.

HISD will keep students, parents and teachers updated as school officials receive more information from TEA. If you have questions about STAAR, please attend HISD’s informational session this Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St.