AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams told school districts and charters that the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness math exam requirement for middle-schoolers has been suspended for this upcoming school year. That’s because of the transition to revised statewide curriculum standards in mathematics. The STAAR math test for fifth- and eighth-graders will be administered only once in the 2014–2015 school year.
As a result, the Student Success Initiative, or SSI, requirement that those students must pass the STAAR math test in order to move onto the next grade level will be suspended for the coming school year.
“There are substantial challenges associated with implementation of the revised mathematics statewide curriculum standards in the STAAR grades 3–8 assessments,” said Williams in his May 1 letter to superintendents. “For the 2014–2015 school year, districts will use other relevant academic information to make promotion or retention decisions for mathematics.”
Williams made sure to point out that the requirement applies only for the 2014–2015 school year. That means the state law requiring students in grades 5 and 8 to pass the STAAR reading exam in order to head to the next grade will still be in effect.
The State Board of Education reviews and updates the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the statewide curriculum standards, on a regular basis. As TEKS revisions are made, changes are subsequently made to the assessment program to maintain a strong, direct and effective link between the TEKS and statewide assessments.
The State Board adopted in April 2012 the revised TEKS in mathematics. The revised TEKS for kindergarten through grade 8 will be implemented in classrooms and in the grades 3–8 assessment program in the 2014–2015 school year.
Because performance standards for STAAR grades 3–8 mathematics will not be set until after the spring 2015 administration, retest opportunities for the STAAR math test for students in the fifth and eighth grade will not be offered in May and June 2015. This is similar to the approach used in spring 2012 for the first administration of STAAR.
To learn more about STAAR mathematics, you can visit the Texas Education Agency’s STAAR Mathematics Resources online.