POSTED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 4:57pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 4:59pm
EL PASO - New state tests for school students begin next week, and at least one district is concerned parents and students aren't prepared.
Students from grades three to eight will now take the "STAAR" test instead of the "TAKS." The test is harder, and in high school stakes are higher. Starting in 9th grade the "TAKS" is replaced with the "End-of-Course" exam.
"It is a very high stakes test and were not convinced that enough students and parents see the sense of urgency behind preparing and promoting success on this test," Socorro Superintendent Xavier De La Torre said.
High school teachers are trying to get the message across.
"We didn't wait until this year," Eastlake Principal Angelica Ramsey said. "All of our teachers were prepared in the summer to ensure that we had the rigorous curriculum in place for our students so that they would be prepared for this test and anything that comes later on."
"There are a lot of students out there that, a lot of families out there, that believe that this year is a pilot, a trial run, and it really won't have an impact on their students future," De La Torre said. "That can't be farther from the truth."
If the freshman fail the exam, it could jeopardize them receiving a diploma at graduation. Students we spoke with say they understand the risk.
"Some people are scared, and some people are like 'it's fine, well do good,'" freshman Vivian Gaytan said.
"I'm feeling confident about it," freshman Andrew Aldana said. "I know it will be harder than the "TAKS" test though, so I'm trying to prepare myself too."