STAAR redesign (also known as STAAR 2.0) is an effort by the Texas Education Agency to make the STAAR test more tightly aligned to the classroom experience. The redesigned assessment is a result of HB 3906 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2019 that among other things mandated a cap on the number of multiple-choice questions, transitioned the entire testing process online, and eliminated the stand-alone writing assessments in grades 4 and 7. The redesign introduces new interactive item types that are reflective of how students demonstrate knowledge in the classroom and provides scoring options to allow students to earn partial credit on certain questions.
Executive Director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement Jacob Cortez shared with trustees that RISD moved the testing process online a few years ago in anticipation of the legislative change. Cortez also said the new state policies are meant to ensure assessments engage students in the same ways they are learning in the classroom.
As part of the new legislation, the state sought to expand input from educators in the process while providing more flexibility at the campus level for test administration. The redesign better aligns with educator efforts to build students’ background knowledge. In effective classrooms, teachers are building that background knowledge and vocabulary across subjects. The new process also seeks to further establish the interconnectedness of reading and writing, as students will now be asked to write using evidence from text to support their response.
RISD has been training teachers and administrators about the changes and their impact monthly in advance of the new testing. RISD will continue to explain the changes to the state assessment program over the next few months ahead of the administration of the new tests in April and May.
Please click here to see the STAAR 2.0 slide deck from the Jan. 26 meeting, and click here to view the presentation to the board.