San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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February 14th, 2012
SMCISD invites families to learn about new standardized tests

STAFF REPORT

San Marcos CISD offers three upcoming information sessions about the new standardized testing system.

The new program, called State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness — or STAAR — will be implemented during the spring 2012 semester. The new program will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), and, according to the Texas Education Agency, is more rigorous and emphasizes the most important knowledge and skills for career and academic success.

The district will offer the following information sessions about STAAR:

  • Feb. 16, Miller Middle School library, 6-7 p.m.
  • Feb. 21, Travis Elementary School library, 6-7 p.m.
  • Feb. 29 (Parent Conference Day), San Marcos High School library, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

The presentations will be in English, with a Spanish presentation following for those who request it. District staff will also provide handouts in English and Spanish.

STAAR will include more test questions at most grades than TAKS examinations. Unlike TAKS, STAAR imposes time limits during exams. Students will have four hours to complete each exam. STAAR tests will be directed to students in grades 3-8, and to students taking high school-level courses in the four core subject areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

“At the high school level, the test will be phased in to include twelve tests in the core area,” said Greg Rodriguez, SMCISD coordinator for accountability and school Improvement. “Currently, STAAR at the high school level includes students first entering the ninth grade in the 2011-2012 school year and students enrolled in high school level courses, such as 8th graders who are taking Algebra I.”

More information on STAAR can be found on the district’s website
.

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