TYLER, TX (KLTV) - In the classroom world where nothing is certain except exit exams, it's time for a change.
"It's an increase in accountability [and] it's a shift to more of a problem solving application," said Kim Tunnell, the Executive Director of Curriculum for Tyler ISD.
The Texas Education Agency said goodbye to the TAKS test this week, announcing its successor, the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or just STAAR test.
"We see this as just another evolution with some higher level type questions," said Tunnell, who believes the change is a welcomed one. "There is a definite shift in the amount of information and the level of which the students have to perform and so our curriculum instruction has had to change to evolve with that."
It is an evolution seen in a head to head comparison.
The tenth grade TAKS science exam, lumps eighth grade science, biology, and chemistry into one test. The STAAR features three separate exams for each subject at the end of the year they are taught, encouraging a more subject intensive approach.
Ladona Cook has only seen samples of the 12 "end of course" STAAR high school exams, but sees improvement off previous TAAS and TAKS versions.
"It's good because we have the opportunity to make our students more competitive in the academic world," said Cook. "The expectations are higher and so the instruction has to match that."
It is a challenge for teachers and students with a report card payoff.
The STAAR test also differs from the TAKS in the student's exam results will be factored into their course grade. The current TAKS test is not out just yet. It will remain in place for the current and next academic school year before educators will begin teaching STAAR curriculum.
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