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Monday, October 3, 2011

S.T.A.A.R. Questions & Answers

FAQ regarding the new Texas S.T.A.A.R. Standardized Testing

·        Are breaks allowed during STAAR assessments?
Breaks are allowed during STAAR assessments; however the following breaks must be included in the four-hour time limit.
§  Breaks for water or snacks
§  Bathroom breaks
§  Breaks for physical activity (e.g., standing up and stretching)
§  Routine medical breaks (e.g., to take medicine)
Breaks for lunch are not included in the four-hour time limit; however it is recommended that lunch be scheduled outside of the testing time.

·        How will reporting change when STAAR is implemented?

The implementation of STAAR will bring some key changes to the way information is reported.

For TAKS all reports were provided in hard-copy format with the option to receive online reports for a fee. With the new STAAR program, all reports will be provided online. One copy of each of the Confidential Student Reports (CSRs) and labels will be provided in hard-copy format.

·        What happens to students who arrive late or after testing has begun?
All students must be given the maximum of four hours to complete the tests. Districts will need to determine if the student can test on that day or on a make-up day.
·        For which assessments will make-up testing be available?
For the STAAR program, make-up testing opportunities for students who are absent will be available for all grades, subjects, and courses. Make-up testing opportunities will also be available for all administrations, including the summer administrations.

Two of the three bundled accommodations will be available for students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities on the STAAR reading assessments in grades 3 through high school—the oral reading of item stems/answer options only and extended testing time, if needed. These accommodations do not need to be offered as a bundle; the needs of the student should be considered when determining which accommodations to use. A proper-nouns list like the one used in the TAKS assessments will no longer be provided.

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