AUSTIN (KXAN) — Say goodbye to scantrons and bubbling in your answers as this year’s STAAR Test is moving online.
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test is being redesigned to better align with what students are learning in the classroom.
“Hopefully these items look more like kids see day-to-day in a grade classroom,” Lily Laux, deputy commissioner of school programs at the Texas Education Agency, said. “So students are asked to write short answers all the time, so students asked to write short answers, students graphing in response to a math problem, those kinds of things which hopefully allow students to more show what they know and also will allow for partial credit.”
This year, students will be introduced to new online question formats, cross-curricular reading passages and an evidence-based writing assessment.
“It has no individual student-level consequences so we really want students and other folks to relax and do their best,” Laux said. “But it is an important barometer for us as a state about how we are doing and for individual districts.”
This transition will require nearly all students to be assessed online, with the exceptions of students taking the STAAR Alternate 2 assessment and students who require accommodations that cannot be provided online, according to the TEA website.
“We believe that, for many of our students, this is a bit more normal than learning how to use a scantron at this point,” said Laux.
“Whether you like STAAR or hate STAAR you know you have to prepare for it,” Austin ISD teacher Eric Ramos said. “Oftentimes they know it we just have to make sure they show it in the way the state judges them.”
No more than 75% of points on a STAAR test can be based on multiple-choice questions. The remaining questions will allow for written answers and allow partial credit.
The redesigned test is a result of HB 3906 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2019.