The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires certain assessments to measure students' progress. STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) were implemented in the Spring of 2012 for grades 3 - 9. TAKS (Texas Assessment of Academic Knowledge and Skills) will continue to be administered to students who entered grade 9 in 2010-2011 or earlier. TELPAS (The Texas English Language Assessment System) is used with each identified Limited English Proficiency (LEP) student.
In order to fulfill the requirements of House Bill 3 passed by the 81st Texas Legislature and incorporated into Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 39, the TEA developed the STAAR
, which provides the foundation for a new accountability system for Texas public education. STAAR is designed to more thoroughly assess the content of a course, including both concepts taught in previous grade levels and readiness for the next instructional level. A significant change from TAKS, which was an untimed test, is that the STAAR is limited to 4 hours.
The STAAR program at grades 3 - 8 assesses the same subjects and grades previously assessed on TAKS. At the high school level, however, grade-specific assessments were originally replaced with fifteen end-of-course (EOC) assessments. House Bill 5 reduced that number to five EOCs: Algebra I, Biology, English I Reading/ Writing, English II Reading / Writing, and US History. STAAR EOC began with students entering the 9th grade class in 2011-12.
Students who entered ninth grade as of the 2010-2011 school year must pass the grade 11 or Exit Level TAKS as a requirement for graduation. Students have a total of five different opportunities to pass each portion of the test.
TELPAS, which involves all identified LEP students in kindergarten through grade 12, consists of holistic ratings in the areas of Listening, Speaking, and Writing. For kindergarten and grade 1, Reading proficiency (which relates to preparation for reading skills) is holistically rated by the student's teacher. In grade 2 through grade 12, the TELPAS Reading proficiency assessment is administered online.