School districts across East Texas weigh in on this year’s STAAR testing changes

School districts across East Texas weigh in on this years’ STAAR testing changes
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 12:04 AM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - This year, STAAR testing looks a little different.

Students across the state have traded their pencils and ScanTrons for laptops this testing season.

Some schools have been completely online testing for a few years now, some have just had middle school and high school-aged students testing online and some school districts have had all students move completely online this year.

Cindy Ivy, The Nacogdoches ISD Test Coordinator and Director Of Assessment says this is their first year to have all their students taking their tests online. She says they have been preparing all year for this moment.

“We were well prepared, our technology team has worked with us, our campuses, our administrators and teachers have prepared the students with lots of practices and all of our internet bandwidth has held up,” Ivy said.

She says the testing service Cambium that all districts use for testing have sent districts trouble shooting ideas to get ahead of computer issues.

Lufkin ISD has been testing online for their high school students for many years now. When talks of everyone in the state moving online came about, they went ahead and moved middle and elementary aged students online as well to prepare and practice.

Shelly Slaton the Superintendent of Education Services with the district says they have had a very little computer related issues, and it is on each campus to help with any that arise.

“We have had very few issues. I would say the most severe issue that has come up is a computer freezing up, shutting it down, turning it back on very, very rarely has that happened,” Slaton said.

She says this is also the first year for a new accountability system and a whole new test that districts are calling STAAR 2.0

“It is a new test and so scoring will look a little different. The writing piece that is on there, the extended constructed response is new for some of our students, it looks new for all of our students,” Slaton said.

Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt says district’s accountability ratings can go down on this new scale.

“We got a reset for the cut scores A through F, and so this could happen and will happen in different places across the state. Lindale ISD, we could grow do and do better than we did last year on student testing, but our rating can go down, “Surratt said.

STAAR testing will continue throughout the state these next weeks.