Texas School Districts question STAAR test - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Texas School Districts question STAAR test

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Justin, Texas -

A local school district is questioning statewide standardized testing.

Northwest ISD along with several districts across the state are concerned about the major differences between the STAAR test and the TAKS test.

The STARR test replaces the TAKS test.  Last year was the first time it was given. It's being phased into high schools, so the earliest a junior would take the test would be next year.

Take Chris Freed for example. If at the end of his junior year on the one day he takes the STAAR test, he fails one section, he may not get into a four year Texas college.

That testing criteria is one of the main reasons why Northwest ISD is one of 22 Texas school districts trying to either get rid of STAAR, or drastically change the way the assessment test is given.

Karen Rue, Northwest ISD Superintendent says, "We believe that we can do more for kids and they can have broader and more enriched learning experiences with less governance testing done."

From the time a student begins taking the STAAR test in 3rd grade, he or she will have taken 32 tests across 15 subject areas.

When students take their final test junior year, if the cumulative points from all their tests reach 7,000, they can qualify for a junior college.

However, they won't be accepted into a 4-year university in Texas unless that cumulative score is 10,500 or higher.

"What makes it really important is to understand that if you don't get the cut score on that junior year you don't get any points for the test it's as though you didn't take it," says Karen Rue.

Chris Freed's mother Rebecca asks, "How do you continue to keep our students motivated to be good learners and be advancing to the future when you're telling them that everything you've done and all the preparation that you've worked for is going to put you bright back to start all over?"

If a junior does fail one or more sections of the test, they do have a chance to take it again their senior year.

That means it could be a challenge to prepare for the STAAR, SAT's and making post high school plans.

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