When teachers assess students, they consider the way students perform a variety of tasks in a variety of settings or contexts, the meaning of their performances in terms of the total functioning of the individual, and the likely explanations for those performances. Therefore, assessment is the process of collecting data for the purposes of specifying and verifying student academic growth and making decisions about students.
Coupled with this definition is the belief that grading, reporting, and communicating student learning are some of the educators' most important responsibilities to all stakeholders.
The intersect between the teaching, learning, and assessment processes in education in Texas focuses on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). With these results, the state assesses a district's performance and uses that data to determine an accountability rating.
The area of assessment in the Assessment and Research Department provides information to meet the responsibilities of reporting and communicating student learning as it is reflected in the STAAR and the Texas Academic Performance Reports.
|STAAR||State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness|
|EOC||End of Course|
|SSI||Student Success Initiative|
|TELPAS||Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System|
|Local Assessment||Curriculum Based Testing and State Release Testing|
State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR)
TEA implemented STAAR in spring 2012 to fulfill requirements enacted by the Texas Legislature. STAAR helps to ensure that Texas students are competitive with other students both nationally and internationally. One important function of STAAR is to gauge how well schools and teachers are preparing their students academically. The test is specifically designed to measure individual student progress in relation to content that is tied to the TEKS. Every STAAR question is directly aligned to the TEKS currently in effect for the grade/subject or course being assessed.
STAAR includes assessments at grades 3–8 of mathematics, reading, writing, science, and social studies. All of these assessments are available both on paper and online. STAAR Spanish is available for students in grades 3–5 for whom an assessment in Spanish provides the most appropriate measure of academic progress. STAAR Spanish is available in each subject area assessed by the English version assessments, including all retest opportunities. STAAR Spanish is administered only on paper.
Visit the TEA STAAR website to learn more.
STAAR EOC assessments are available for Algebra I, Algebra II, English I, English II, English III, Biology, and U.S. History. All of these assessments are available both on paper and online.
Students must pass five end-of-course assessments to meet the testing requirements for graduation. Those tests cover Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology and U.S. History.
Visit the TEA STAAR website to learn more.
Student Success Initiative (SSI)
The Student Success Initiative requires that students successfully master the reading and math tests in grades 5 and 8 to be promoted to the next grade. Multiple opportunities are provided to students to take these tests in these grades. The first administration occurs at the end of April with a second administration in mid May, the final opportunity occurs at the end of June.
If a student does not meet the passing standard after the second administration a Grade Placement Committee (GPC) meeting is held to determine if the student will be promoted or retained. A parent or guardian should meet with campus staff to determine if retention is an option and what the accelerated instruction program will look like.
Visit the TEA SSI webpage for additional information and resources.
TELPAS assesses the English language proficiency of K–12 ELs in four language domains—listening, speaking, reading, and writing. English language proficiency assessments in grades K–12 are federally required to evaluate the progress that ELs make in becoming proficient in the use of academic English. The assessment components for grades K–1 and 2–12 differ in the following ways:
- grades K–1: TELPAS includes holistically rated listening, speaking, reading, and writing assessments based on ongoing classroom observations and student interactions.
- grades 2–12: TELPAS includes multiple-choice reading tests, holistically rated student writing collections, and online listening and speaking assessments.
Visit the TEA TELPAS webpage for additional information and resources.
The Spring Branch ISD Local Assessment Program
The local assessment program is comprised of two separate and distinct testing programs, reflecting different purposes. The locally developed curriculum-based assessments (CBAs) are designed to gage instructional progress toward curricular goals and inform instructional decision making. The locally developed “Practice STAAR Assessments” are designed to identify proficiency gaps in individual students for the specific purpose of remediation. Since STAAR assessments are new for 2011 – 2012, “Practice STAAR Assessments” will be developed locally, using available resources from the Texas Education Agency.
Twice a year, district administrators work in concert with principals, curriculum leaders and teachers to identify the goals and objectives of the local assessment program. The committee also recommends a calendar of assessments throughout the year. Both the curriculum based assessments and the Practice STAAR tests are developed by teams of classroom teachers, under the guidance of district curriculum specialists.
In addition, each year, the district offers a differentiated assessment plan for campuses. This is an opportunity for a campus or grade level team to opt out of specific assessments based on the campus’ prior year’s state assessment scores. Certain courses are non-exempt, such as the new End of Course exams in high school.
Following the committee recommendation, the calendar and program is approved by the Senior Staff, the Superintendent, and ultimately, the Board of Trustees.
For further information regarding local assessments, please contact your child’s campus.