Students across the state will have to hit the books a little harder this spring. The new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness or STAAR will focus on making students college and career ready. The STAAR is replacing the TAKS. Third through ninth graders will be taking it.
Parents and students across the state have expressed concern because the questions will be more in-depth and rigorous. We talked to Lubbock I.S.D's Nancy Sharp and she told us the testing will be a big change.
"I think Texas has gone to a very rigorous testing standard and they want to make sure students are college and career ready," Sharp said.
Eighth and ninth graders will be affected most. They will be required to take the STAAR end of course exams, which are twelve core tests in the major subject areas. They will make up fifteen percent of a student's final course grade.
Sharp said she didn't know if such in-depth course knowledge was necessary.
"Is there a point here where every student graduating needs a deep understanding of physics?," Sharp said. "Maybe so and maybe no?"
Laura Freeman is a concerned parent who doesn't know if the new testing is fair to students.
"One concern I have is the fact that it affects 15 percent of their grade in a class. I think that's something that's really different and I don't think that's fair," Freeman said.
Sharp made it clear that the school districts do not have anything to do with the new STARR testing except preparing students to take them. The test was implemented last year by the Texas Legislature. Only time will tell if the STARR is here to stay, but even Sharp has her doubts about the new testing.
"Most students eighth and ninth grades are not thinking about a test they're taking this year that will help determine whether or not they will graduate," Sharp said.
Lubbock I.S.D will be hosting four informational meetings for parents. The locations and times are:
Feb. 2nd - 6 p.m. - Monterey High School Auditorium
Feb. 6th - 6 p.m. - Lubbock High School Auditorium
Feb. 9th - 6 p.m. - Coronado High School Auditorium
Feb. 13th - 6 p.m. - Estacado High School (Talkington YWL) Auditorium