Questions and answers from STAAR info session at HISD
Q: How is the STAAR different from the TAKS?
A: Unlike the TAKS, the STAAR will have a four-hour time limit. STAAR will also be more rigorous and will have questions requiring multiple steps. Examples can be found here, under the “Sample Test Questions” tab.
Q: Is there anything I can do to help my child at home?
A: Parents can help their children by talking with their principal and teachers, and monitoring their progress to stay informed.
Q: What steps is HISD taking to assist students with “test anxiety”?
A: The short answer is “early and frequent exposure.” Facing the unknown can be a daunting prospect, so one strategy involves showing students what sample tests look like so that they will be more familiar with the format when testing day comes. In addition, students are getting multiple opportunities to complete practice exercises, and schools are conducting tutorials both during the regular school day and on weekends so that students will feel confident and prepared.
Q: Will students who don’t pass STAAR be able to take the test again in summer school?
A: Students in grades 3–8 can’t retest this summer. However, ninth-graders will have an additional opportunity to retake EOC exams in July.
Q: My son is repeating the ninth grade. Will he have to take the EOC?
A: No. He is still bound by the TAKS-based graduation plan.
Q: I’m concerned about ninth-graders from other countries who have only been here a year or less. Will they have to take the test in English?
A: The State of Texas requires all English language learners to take the test; however, accommodations are available.
Q: If middle-school students are taking high-school-level classes with EOC, will they have to take the exams?
A: Yes. However, middle-school students who have already completed high-school-level classes will not.
Q: I heard the writing portion for elementary and middle school students is more difficult. What options are there for a student receiving Special Education services?
A: Available accommodations are related directly to a student’s disability. Please go to http://houstonisd.org/staar and click on “Special Populations” for details.