State Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Thursday that the Texas Education Agency is proceeding with an order to close North Forest ISD and annex the area into the Houston Independent School District effective July 1.
The 2012-2013 school year is the second year for the new state assessment known as STAAR, which requires high school students to take End of Course exams or EOCs rather than grade-based assessments under TAKS. Last year, only high school freshmen were required to take STAAR End of Course exams. This year, all ninth- and tenth-graders in the state of Texas will take STAAR EOCs.
Under STAAR, a student’s score on an EOC would normally count toward 15 percent of their final course grade. However, the Texas Education Agency has deferred implementation of the 15 percent grading requirement for the 2012-2013 school year.
Westside High School freshmen and their parents wanting more information on STAAR recently came out to a special campus workshop. The informational session was held to help parents understand how the new EOC exams could impact their child’s course grades and GPAs, as well as their ability to graduate.
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.
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.
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.
The calls poured in as HISD hosted a live forum on the state’s new accountability test: STAAR. More than 100 people crowded the HISD-TV studio and two overflow areas to watch the forum, and viewers at home called in and emailed their questions throughout the show. More than 75 phone calls were received during the event.
Host Denisse Cantu fielded questions from the live studio audience, callers, and email. A common theme emerged from the students who participated: “Why the change to STAAR?” (Answer: To measure students’ college readiness.)
“STAAR will prepare students for high school and beyond,” said Chief Middle Schools Officer Dallas Dance.
Other students and parents asked about preparations for STAAR. Some expressed concern about whether tutorials would be enough, and what the district was expecting performance-wise in the first year of a new accountability system.
“It’s our expectation that you will do very well,” said Mark Shenker, director of the High Schools Office. He emphasized the Grad Labs, tutorials, after-school resources, and weekend sessions that continue to be available to students in HISD.
Several viewers called in to ask about the district’s plans for delaying the 15 percent requirement for high schoolers’ end-of-course exams. Based on the Texas Education Agency’s move to defer the rule, HISD administration will recommend to the school board that the requirement be delayed a year.
A complete report of the questions and answers from this event will be posted here and on houstonisd.org in coming days. If you have a question about STAAR, please email STAAR@houstonisd.org.
HISD parents attended an information session Thursday night, hearing directly from a panel of experts representing elementary, middle and high schools; curriculum; and special education. After viewing an overview presentation outlining the differences between TAKS and STAAR and the new requirements high schoolers will face, the session opened up to questions.
Presenters Anastasia Lindo and Richard Barajas, both school improvement officers, emphasized the importance of preparing for the new, more rigorous accountability test.
“STAAR does count,” Lindo said. HISD will receive a raw score this year, and some students may be required to take summer school as a result of their performance.
Members of the audience asked questions about the new discussion around delaying the 15 percent requirement – which would affect this year’s ninth-graders. Barajas acknowledged there is growing support around an effort to postpone that requirement until next school year.
Questions were also submitted via email and the STAAR Q&A blog.
Several parents asked about provisions for students in special education. Assistant Superintendent Sowmya Kumar spoke to those concerns, emphasizing that accommodations are made on an individual basis. Kumar also emphasized the importance of students working toward the recommended graduation plan.
“Students who take anything but regular STAAR are working toward a minimum high school diploma,” Kumar said. That can limit a student’s choices in the future.
Kumar encouraged parents to contact HISD staff members directly with any questions: “We’ll be happy to talk to you directly.”
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.