Texas students begin STAAR testing

By: Kylie Dixon Email
By: Kylie Dixon Email

SHERMAN, TX-- Heather Reyna is the PTA President and has two children at Neblett Elementary, in Sherman.

She said her 3rd grade son, Justin, is nervous about his first STAAR test.

"He is anxious. He's not sure what to expect. He wants to do his best, but he doesn't know what's coming yet."

This is the first year for the STAAR test in Texas schools. It's replacing the TAAKS test. Starting this week it will be given to 3rd through 11th grade students.

"It's an extremely thorough assessment that really ensures that the children in Texas are competitive with students nationally and internationally, so that's one of the reasons why we are doing this."

Guidance counselor, Vickie Giger, said parents can help their children with test anxiety.

"Keeping a routine, having a good nights sleep, try to keep distractions as minimal as possible. Wake up on time, do not be late to school, they don't have to worry about breakfast because breakfast is served on testing days. And try to talk to them about that anxiety."

Giger also recommends looking at the Texas Education Agency web site. It gives helpful hints to parents and even practice test questions. It also has specific resources for each test.

"We've been going over some of the math skills and writing and the reading and practicing things at home so to help ease him, so he can say, 'Oh, I've seen this before'," Reyna said.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Students across Texas are beginning STAAR standardized tests this week.

Exams start Monday for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness in English I and III writing.

On Tuesday, students take 4th grade writing exams; math exams for grades 5 and 8; and hold the first day of writing tests for seventh graders. Subsequent tests will follow throughout the week with Friday as a makeup day.

STAAR is replacing the much-maligned Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

Its scores had been set to count 15 percent of ninth graders final grades in core subjects. But the state decided to allow districts to defer that requirement for one year.

STAAR costs $90 million annually to administer, or $3 to $7 per test given. That's slightly more than its predecessor cost.

Looking for STAAR information?

As Texas prepares to launch the new STAAR testing program on Monday, here are quick links to some of the most popular test information items: testing calendar, frequently asked questions document, TAKS vs STAAR comparison, test security procedures, and released test questions, which are at the bottom of the main STAAR resources page.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • by Red Dog Location: Texas on Mar 28, 2012 at 08:36 AM
    It is very strange that Private Schools,Home Schools and Charter Schools are exempt from this test. I believe this is just another move by Rick Perry and his associates to kill public schools of Texas in favor of private schools. He could not get it done with the voucher system, now with the STARR maybe he can falsely accuse public schools of being non-preforming and cut funding even more. Perry and the Republicans would like to have only private schools in Texas. They think this could be the first step in doing away with school taxes which is Perry's goal.
    • reply
      by on to something on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM in reply to Red Dog
      your probably right
  • by Also Concerned Parent Location: Sherman, TX on Mar 27, 2012 at 02:27 PM
    Well I sure hope the kinks are ironed out. My daughter is one of the unlucky freshmen who have to take this and pass to graduate in a few years. So far this year's freshman class has not done well on the mock STAAR tests. I have talked with parents from other school districts. In Sherman the answer key was even lost on one of the mock tests. My daughter barely passed it and she is a honor student and UIL academic praise. When the really smart kids can't even pass it...we have a problem.
  • by sob on Mar 27, 2012 at 02:04 PM
    Just gave them. Don't blame the schools or the teachers for the test. This is done by the state legislature talk to them about it. It is just as stressful on teachers and the school systems.
  • by Crystal Location: Denison on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM
    I feel that my son is to anxious about this test. While I understand the importance of this test. I never remember being as anxious as he does. The schools seem to forget these kids are not robots and some can excell when you push it down there throat but others it intimidates them. I feel that should teach the same way YR round and yes let the students know its important but its not the end of the world and that is not what school is all about but it is what the schools have become obsessed with making the highest grade while not worring about how it stresses the children out. That is my opinion because I have watched my 4th grader stress out about this because his teachers stress they have to pass 100%
  • by concern on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM
    I understand having these test but then again i don't. My niece was so upset this morning. I just think that's a lot to put on these kids.. THere has to be a easier way. THere is no reason why these children should be so upset that they are in tears over a test.
    • reply
      by Crystal on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM in reply to concern
      I totally agree with your comment. Its sad to watch a 3rd and 4th grader worry to the point of tears because the stress the schools have put on them.
      • reply
        by just sayin' on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM in reply to Crystal
        Thanks to bush perry and the gang the test are the hardest in the nation. Do the research repubs don't support public schools. They continue to cut funding raise the difficulty of test and make it more high stakes. It has become ridiculus.
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