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TEA News Releases Online Aug. 21, 2014

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today notified districts and charters that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will maintain initial academic performance standards (Phase-In 1) for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) program for the 2014–2015 school year.

The Commissioner cited a variety of changes impacting the STAAR program over the course of the upcoming school year. Those changes include:

  • Implementation of the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) mathematics curriculum;
  •  Elimination of STAAR Modified;
  •  First administration of STAAR Accommodated; and
  •   First administration of the redesigned STAAR Alternate.

 In addition to maintaining current performance standards for 2014-2015, TEA will be proposing changes to the existing plan to phase in performance standards for the STAAR grades 3–8 and end-of-course (EOC) assessment programs. The existing plan will be adjusted from two steps to three steps to allow for smaller, incremental movements toward final performance standards.

 “While I firmly believe that our students are capable of reaching the high expectations reflected in the TEKS and the STAAR performance standards, moving to a three-step phase-in plan gives educators additional time to make the significant adjustments in instruction necessary to raise the level of performance of all Texas students,” said Commissioner Williams.

Academic performance standards represent the level of performance students must meet or exceed to pass a STAAR assessment. New performance standards will be established for the second phase-in and the newly established third phase-in prior to moving to the final recommended performance standards. The proposed three-step phase-in plan would include:   

  •  The current phase-in 1 performance standards will be maintained for the 2014–2015 school year.
  •  The new phase-in 2 performance standards will be implemented beginning in the 2015–2016 school year.
  •   The new phase-in 3 performance standards will be implemented beginning in the 2018–2019 school year.
  •   The final recommended performance standards will be implemented in the 2021–2022 school year.

Current policy regarding STAAR EOC performance standards for each student will remain unchanged. The standard in place when a student first takes an EOC assessment is the standard that will be maintained throughout the student’s school career.

To learn more about STAAR academic performance standards, visit the Texas Education Agency website at