Tag Archives: TAKS

HISD TAKS recovery program aims to help students earn overdue HS diplomas

The search is on for 1,200 current and former HISD students who may be just one test short of earning their high school diplomas to take advantage of a free, drop-in program that could help them earn that valuable document.

All HISD high schools are offering teacher-conducted tutoring for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test that will be administered July 7, and HISD will also offer the coaching at three city of Houston Multi-Service Center sites. This second-chance program will be held from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, June 9-July 3, but special hours may be arranged. No advance enrollment is required for the scheduled sessions.
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STAAR testing begins today (w/ video)

As students in Houston ISD begin taking the new State Assessments of Academic Readiness, HISD’s Richard Blair talks about some of the chief differences between TAKS and STAAR, and how parents can help their children get ready for the tests. For a complete schedule of testing dates, click here.

Click image above for video.

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.

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)



HISD principals, teachers prepare for new STAAR test

HISD staff review writing samples at Hattie Mae White in preparation for STAAR.

 Sharpen your No. 2 pencils – the state’s new accountability test, STAAR, is just two months away. Ever since the Texas Education Agency began releasing information about the new accountability system, HISD teachers and principals have been hard at work preparing students for the exam. Students in grades 3-8 will begin taking the tests on March 27, with more testing dates in late April. High school students will take the majority of their STAAR EOCs – “end-of-course” exams – during the month of May.

(Click here for STAAR overview video.)

Teacher Development Specialists have been training educators, developing assessments, and using feedback to recalibrate instruction in a way that prepares students for the more rigorous STAAR test. That work continued last week at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.

STAAR is the new statewide, vertically-aligned, testing system that will replace the TAKS test.

Stephanie Rhodes, principal of Ray K. Daily Elementary School, joined other elementary school principals in reviewing writing samples to better understand the writing portion of the STAAR test.

“At first there was a lot of anxiety, because we didn’t have any release questions or a lot of information. We knew it was going to be more rigorous, but we didn’t know how far of a jump it was going to be,” Rhodes said. “We now have a better understanding of the expectations. I think the district has done a great job getting us information and people to train us on the direction we need to go and what we need to do as leaders to make sure our teachers and our students are successful.”

Rhodes said she is working to make sure her school is prepared. She’s meeting in professional learning communities with teachers during their planning time, helping teachers look at data, and holding parent meetings.

“I think the students know that it’s going to be a more difficult assessment, but they also know they are getting the preparation they need.”

How the district is preparing for the STAAR test:

  • Training for teachers, principals
  • Coaching, co-teaching, and model teaching based on STAAR
  • STAAR-focused assessments and feedback throughout the year
  • Revised spring teaching calendar focused on STAAR standards
  • Recruitment of tutors for high-need campuses


STAAR is the new statewide, vertically-aligned, testing system that will replace the TAKS test. STAAR will continue to be based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills – known as the TEKS. The STAAR tests will be more rigorous than TAKS and are designed to measure a student’s college and career readiness. Key dates:

  • March 26-30:English I, II and III, Grades 4 & 7 Writing, Grades 5 & 8 Math and Reading
  • April 24-27: Grades 3, 4, 6 & 7 Math and Reading, Grades 5 & 8 Science, Grade 8 Social Studies
  • May 7-18: Assessment window for EOC subjects (except English I, II and III)

For sample questions, test dates and more information, please visit houstonisd.org/STAAR


Post a comment on HISD’s STAAR Resources blog at hisdstaar.wordpress.com

Follow STAAR on twitter: twitter.com/HISDSTAAR