What You Need to Know About the STAAR Test This School Year

What You Need to Know About the STAAR Test This School Year

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas students will be expected to take the STAAR examinations this school year in person. Some students may be taking the exam at their school, and some may be taking it at a secure testing site, but the answer is clear — this test won’t be administered virtually. 

The core reason for this decision was so that the state of Texas could adequately assess where students are struggling the most coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, curriculums may need to change, but how are state officials supposed to know precisely how to benefit students without the benchmarks of standardized examinations? 

While distressing for some parents and families, knowing the reasoning behind this decision and how this decision impacts your classroom is essential to ensure they are all properly prepared to take the test. 

What Is The STAAR Test? 

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test, or STAAR test, is a standardized test used in Texas to test how students can apply the knowledge they should have learned based on the state-mandated curriculum. 

In short, the STAAR test assesses how well a student can take the knowledge learned from the classroom setting and apply it to a new environment. This, however, assumes that the student has gained experience from the state-mandated curriculum. 

Because of COVID-19, many students have fallen behind in their educational goals. Many teachers were unable to teach at the speed that the state-mandated curriculum’s mandate. As such, some students may not be at the benchmark expectations for the STAAR test in 2021. 

Due to COVID-19, teachers need to play catch-up, in a way. Not only do they need to ensure that material for the 2020-2021 academic year is taught in full, but they need to ensure that students who may have missed the 2020 STAAR examination are prepared to handle their current grade-level version of the test. 

Does Every Student Need The Test? 

Traditionally, every student beginning in 3rd grade needs to take the STAAR test each year. Students must be evaluated in subjects like English, math, social studies, and other such curriculum areas. The test is conducted yearly and is especially important for students in 5th and 8th grade, as passing the STAAR test is a state requirement to move up to 6th and 9th grade. 

However, due to COVID-19, the requirements to move up to the next grade have been waived. While this isn’t officially saying that families can opt-out of their student taking the exam, it does mean that students are protected from falling further behind in school if they or their families feel uncomfortable arriving in-person for a test. 

However, graduation requirements haven’t been waived. This means graduating seniors need to ensure they take the STAAR test or risk not obtaining their high school diploma. 

The tests are only offered in-person and are not provided in any virtual formats, which means if a student feels uncomfortable taking a test in person, there are few other options available. Lawmakers are assuming many students won’t sit for the exam this year. 

Why Does The Test Matter? 

The test is vital for multiple reasons. For starters, it allows you and your student where they fall in comparison with their peers. Are they struggling with applying math skills, or maybe, are they struggling with reading comprehension? Knowing where these problematic areas are can help families obtain targeted tutoring and remedial services. 

It also helps state officials change curriculums where necessary. In a post-COVID-19 landscape, many assume that there will be significant knowledge gaps that need to be made up somehow. To make those up, lawmakers and curriculum-builders need to know exactly where those gaps are, and state-wide tests help. 

That’s why it’s crucial for any student who is willing and able to take the STAAR exam this year. All schools in the state of Texas are mandated to make the test accessible, and we’re here to help. 

How Can I Prepare My Classroom? 

We understand how challenging it can be to ensure your students are up to date on all of the content that’s going to be on the STAAR test. Luckily, that’s where our experts De Alba Math Center come in. 

Our solutions allow access through Microsoft Teams, Summit Learning, and Google Classroom, where students can access our instructional videos and print De Alba Math-handouts and foldables. We also provide printed resources like workbooks for students to use as consumables. 

Whether your students are caught up with their material or have fallen behind, we can help you ensure that they have the best shot of achieving their best possible scores on this year’s test. 
Contact us today to see how we can help you give your classroom the tools your students need to succeed.


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