A redesign of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) test is currently underway, as a result of House Bill 3906. Watch the videos for a more detailed look at each of the changes.
Near-Term STAAR Redesign Overview
The near-term STAAR redesign will include transformational changes to advance the way Texas measures the academic performance of students. These changes strengthen the STAAR program and will be implemented in the 2022–23 school year.
In addition, HB 3906 also explores the possibility of a longer-term STAAR redesign that replaces the existing one-time end of year STAAR with assessments administered throughout the course of the year.
Highlights of the near-term STAAR redesign include:
- Fully transitioning Texas to online assessments
- New item types with a multiple-choice cap
- Reading language arts redesign that eliminates standalone writing for grades 4 and 7 and reflects the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
Transition to Online Assessments
Through House Bill 3906, the Texas Legislature required TEA to investigate and develop a transition plan to administer all state-required assessments online by the 2022–23 school year.
The transition plan, reported to the legislature in December 2020, is subject to legislative approval prior to implementation. Based on the results of a feasibility study, TEA recommended to the legislature a transition plan that will include training and resources to support districts with implementation.
STAAR online administration benefits include:
- Faster test scores and results
- Reduced operational complexity and waste
- Assessment matches the realities of today’s online learning environment
- Better test security and improved administration
- Potential for customizable assessments and new item types
- More equitable access to accommodations
New Item Types
HB 3906 establishes a cap so that no more than 75% of any STAAR test can be multiple choice. New item types will make up at least 25% of the test—with a wider variety made possible by the transition to electronic assessments. These changes take effect for all STAAR tests by the 2022–23 school year.
TEA has been gathering feedback from educator focus groups and developing and field-testing new question types. During the 2021–22 school year, these efforts will continue, and training and resources will be provided to support districts in the transition.
These changes will:
- Positively impact instruction
- Increase student engagement
- Create more opportunities for students to demonstrate their full understanding of the TEKS
Reading Language Arts Redesign
HB 3906 eliminates the stand-alone writing assessments for grades 4 and 7 beginning with the 2021–22 school year and will influence a redesign of the reading language arts (RLA) STAAR. Grades 4 and 7 writing assessments will remain unchanged for the 2020–21 school year. During this time, revising and editing items will be field tested in the reading assessments at grades 3–8. The agency has posted sample revising and editing items for grades 3–8.
Revisions to the TEKS are also influencing the RLA STAAR redesign. Instruction in the revised kindergarten through grade 8 2017 English Language Arts and Reading TEKS began with the 2019–2020 school year. A two-year transition plan for STAAR and STAAR Alternate 2 reading assessments includes assessing overlap content from both the old 2009 and revised 2017 standards. Instruction in the revised English I–English IV 2017 TEKS began with the 2020–21 school year. A one-year transition plan for STAAR and STAAR Alternate 2 assessments will be implemented.
This transition timeline allows educators to adjust instruction and properly integrate the new 2017 curriculum standards in reading, writing, listening, and speaking before students are assessed on all new or revised content.
The agency is soliciting feedback from educators on the most effective ways to assess the new 2017 TEKS, including selection of grade-level appropriate passages. Assessed curriculum and blueprint information based on the 2017 TEKS is expected to be made available prior to the administration of the STAAR assessments fully aligned to the 2017 TEKS.
Student Assessment Division