New state test for freshman

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Olivia Griffin, Staff Reporter

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The state’s next standardized testing system, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test, will be introduced to the school as the freshman class takes the English I reading test on March 26 and the writing test on March 27, which is expected to prove to be more challenging than the old TAKS test.

According to the Texas Education Agency’s comparison of the TAKS and STAAR tests, the overall difficulty of the STAAR test will be more difficult than the TAKS test by including more challenging questions, which assess skills at a greater depth and level of cognitive complexity, which is part of the state’s goal of putting the state among the top 10 states for graduating college-ready students.

“I feel like the TAKS test was easier, and now [the state] is cracking down on [students] by making the tests harder,” freshman Colin Cross said.

By 2014, the TEA expects that the high school assessments will include English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, World Geography, World History, and World History. The open-ended items on the mathematics and science TAKS test that were previously omitted will be reinstated on the STAAR test.

Many students are disappointed to be abandoning the old TAKS test for the lengthier, however untimed, STAAR test.

“I like the TAKS test because it is easier [than the STAAR test],” freshman Scott Kelley said.

Still, not all freshman believe that the new STAAR test will be more difficult than the TAKS test.

“I’m not really sure because I’ve never taken the STAAR, but I feel like they are going to be a little more lenient because we will be the first group of students to take the new test,” freshman Michael Lofton said.