Federal law requires that schools be held accountable for educational results so that each student can meet his/her academic potential. State assessments are to be given to determine whether schools have been successful in teaching students the knowledge and skills for their enrolled grade as defined by the state content standards (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS). In determining which assessment is appropriate the ARD committee should refer to the State and District Assessment Framework.
What We Do
In spring 2012, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
The STAAR program includes annual assessments for:
- Reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
- Writing at grades 4 and 7
- Science at grades 5 and 8
- Social studies at grade 8
- End-of-course assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S history.
Beginning in 2016, TEA will voluntarily administer STAAR EOC assessments for English III and Algebra II.
Although most students will take STAAR with or without allowable accommodations, a student with a disability may have choices regarding which of these assessments is most appropriate.
- STAAR with approved or allowable accommodations should be the first consideration when determining which assessment is most appropriate for a student.
- Federal regulations mandate that all students have access to and be assessed on grade-level curriculum.
- The ARD/IEP committee will determine and document the needed accommodations for both instruction and assessment.
- Testing accommodations are based on the documented accommodations in the student's IEP and the TEA guidelines for allowable accommodations for STAAR.
If a student does not meet the passing standard on the statewide assessment, the student's IEP must include a statement regarding how the student will participate in an accelerated instruction program
STAAR Online OverviewThis version of the STAAR assessment is the online version of STAAR. Embedded in this format are accessiblity options for students with disabilities or students receiving Section 504 services (for dyslexia or a related disorder), or students in RTi with odentified need, who meet eligibility criteria and whose 504/RTI/IEP/ARD committee determines most appropriate for the student to demonstrate their knowledge.STAAR Onlines is a computer-based assessment that will have “embedded” accommodations, including:
▪ Simplified language of some test questions
▪ Simplified versions of individual words
▪ Picture support for some individual words
▪ Preview text (OA allowed) for reading passages
▪ Math and Science formula support
▪ Clarification of charts and graphs
▪ Reading assistance (text-to-speech)
▪ Additional tools such as highlighters, rulers, graph paper, contrast options, and colored backgrounds
STAAR Alt 2 OverviewTEA has developed the STAAR Alternate assessment to meet the federal requirements mandated under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a federal education law previously known as No Child Left Behind. TEA designed the STAAR Alternate to assess students in grades 3–8 and high school who have significant cognitive disabilities and are receiving special education services.Only students receiving special education services and who meet all of the requirements (determined by the ARD/IEP committee), may participate in the STAAR Alt assessment. In order to participate the student must meet all of the following:
- have a significant cognitive disability (Intellectual disability with commensurate delays in adaptive behaviors)
- require specialized supports to access the grade-level curriculum and environment
- require intensive individualized instruction in a variety of instructional settings
- access and participate in the grade-level TEKs through prerequisite skills (student expectations from earlier grades)
The ARD/IEP committee must complete the STAAR Alternate 2 Participation form before recommending STAAR Alt. If the committee indicates yes on all the criteria, evidence of each item must be provided on the form.
Additional Information of Waiving Tests
ARD Committee Can Waive Additional STAAR Tests
With the passage of HB 657 during the 85th Texas Legislative Session, an ARD committee is now required to meet before the second administration of the STAAR reading or mathematics assessment when a student receiving special education services in grade 5 or 8 fails to perform satisfactorily on the first administration.
During this meeting, the ARD committee must determine the required accelerated instruction and if the student will be promoted or retained. The bill adds that promotion must be based on the student's performance on his or her IEP goals. The student is not required to take the subsequent STAAR administrations.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Kaye Allen, Director of Special Education, Sherman ISD at (903) 891-6439.