Content source Texas Education Agency URL - STAAR update
AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced today that the next generation of student tests will be called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR.
STAAR will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), which is the criterion-reference assessment program that has been in place since 2003. The STAAR name, pronounced the same as star, will be used for the 12 end-of-course assessments mandated by SB 1031 in 2007 and the new grade 3-8 assessments mandated by HB 3 in the 2009 legislative session.
The new tests will be used beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Students in the graduating Class of 2015, who are currently in seventh grade, will be the first students who must meet the end-of-course testing requirements, as well as pass their classes, in order to earn a diploma.
The new tests will be significantly more rigorous than previous tests and will measure a child’s performance, as well as academic growth.
The grade 3-8 STAAR tests in reading and mathematics, by law, must be linked from grade to grade to performance expectations for the English III and Algebra II end-of-course assessments.
During a speech at the Texas Association of School Administrators’ Midwinter Conference in Austin, Scott also said the last TAKS-based school accountability ratings will be issued in 2011. Ratings will be suspended in 2012 while a new accountability system is developed.
The new state rating system will debut in 2013.
Content source Louisiana Department of Education - LEAP update
The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) is a test that measures students’ knowledge and skills in English Language Arts, math, science and social studies to see how well they have mastered the state’s standards. For students in grades 4 and 8, the English Language Arts and Math portions of the LEAP test are promotional tests. To pass their grade, students must achieve a combination of at least Approaching Basic on one part and at least Basic on the other.
If a student does not pass LEAP, he or she may participate in summer remediation and a summer retest in the subject in which the student scored at the Unsatisfactory and/or Approaching Basic level.
Below are options available for students who do not meet the promotional standard to be promoted to the next grade:
Fourth grade students who do not meet the standard must be provided the opportunity to participate in a Fourth Grade Transitional Program, which is an opportunity for those students who may benefit from some remedial fourth-grade class work and regular fifth grade course work. If students in transitional programs meet certain criteria they may be able to advance to the sixth grade.
Students who want to participate in the fourth grade transitional program must score at the Approaching Basic level or above on both the English and math components of the LEAP; meet all other district requirements for promotion, such as attendance guidelines; and participate in the summer remediation program and summer LEAP retest. Upon completion of the fourth grade transitional program, these students may be promoted to the sixth grade if they score a minimum of Basic in either English or math and Approaching Basic in the other subject AND at least Approaching Basic in both science and social studies on the fourth grade LEAP, in addition to meeting all other district promotion requirements.
Content source Florida Department of Education - FCAT update
The Support Services Team recently reviewed all the reading content in the FCAT Explorer programs with an eye toward adapting the content to the new standards for FCAT 2.0. Reading teachers and coaches will now find the reading programs in 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 8th grade reflect the content foci outlined in the Test Item and Performance Task Specifications for 2009. Because these programs were based on the content foci from the 2007 standards, the reading programs were a near perfect match to the 2009 updated standards.
In light of a pending switch to the Common Core standards, a complete revision of reading content is not a prudent option at this time. Once Common Core standards have been formally adopted, a complete revision of the reading content will begin.