TEA takes immediate steps to shorten STAAR tests in grades 3-8

Female Pupil Studying At Desk In ClassroomEarlier this year, the Texas legislature passed House Bill (HB) 743 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Humble), which among other things required that certain state standardized assessments (STAAR tests) be developed such that 85 percent of third through fifth graders will finish an assessment in not more than two hours and 85 percent of sixth through eighth graders will finish in not more than three hours. Prior to this week, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) had taken a position that only the writing test, which is presently being redeveloped anyway, would be able to be shortened in order to meet the requirements of the bill for the current school year.

This prompted a group of stakeholders that included ATPE and was led by Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA) to convene with Rep. Huberty’s office to discuss implementation of HB 743. Following that meeting, Huberty continued to work with Commissioner of Education Michael Williams to find ways to expedite implementation of the bill’s goal to reduce the testing burden on Texas students.

Today, the commissioner sent a letter to Texas superintendents detailing temporary measures that will be taken this year to decrease the length of the various STAAR tests, which will primarily include removing field testing items from the tests. Additionally, the agency formally announced that they will be using this year’s STAAR administration to study how long students are currently taking to complete the tests in order to guide the agency with future test development that meets the requirements of HB 743.

The commissioner’s full announcement can be found by clicking here. Read ATPE’s press release on the announcement here.

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6 thoughts on “TEA takes immediate steps to shorten STAAR tests in grades 3-8

  1. Pingback: Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: Oct. 16, 2015 | Teach the Vote

  2. Heather Nieto

    What about relief at the high school levels, particularly in English? There’s no reason for 60 multiple choice questions on the meaning of a single word, 2-3 short answer questions, AND an essay. Surely we could assess knowledge and skills without a five hour test.

  3. Hilda Morales Roybal

    As an educator and a parent these tests are overwhelming and too lengthy . When kids see this they decide to just bubble in answers and be done with the stress and boredom of these.

  4. Kylie

    Throughout each year, the teachers goal is to teach their children what they need to know in order to pass, and childs goal is to PASS these tests. Why should these be the goals? Why not to be fully educated? Everyday, i think “is this something i need to know in order to PASS my STAAR test?” At least teice a week you hear; “you will need to know this in order to pass your STAAR tests. Bot to mention the other huge tests, childern just trying to pass, and all of the children distracting other children.

  5. Alissa Perez

    Why can’t we just go back to simplicity. Nowadays our children are stressed the dropout rates are so higher due to standardized testing. You all have forgotten what the real world out hear is like. Real world is not just about test.

  6. Alfaro

    Why are children taking tests that take longer than the tests required by adults.
    As an adult, I have never taken a test that lasts two hours, let alone a test that takes four hours. These are children that are half that age and are required to take a test that lasts longer than any test that I have taken. They do not have the stamina and attention span to sit that long and test. So now, it looks as if Texas has low testing scores, when the reality is that Texas just puts their students through an unfair test.


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