By Richard Hernandez
Incoming freshmen can breathe a sigh a relief. The dreaded TAKS test is gone, but in its place is the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test.
The STAAR test is a new end-of-course (EOC) exam for high school students beginning with freshmen new to high school this school year. The students will be required to take 12 EOC tests which will account for 15 percent of the student’s overall average with the remaining 85 percent being accounted for by their semester grades.
“STAAR is a great opportunity for students to show what they have learned in a class they are currently taking,” assistant principal Kelly Taylor said.
The new STAAR test will allow students to test on the course that they are taking, opposed to the TAKS test that would test over many years of a subject.
“It’s certainly a change for the better,” principal Chris Thompson said. “Students will be able to test over things they just studied. For example, if they were studying algebra they would be tested on algebra, opposed to the TAKS test where it was more of a general math test.”
The first round of STAAR testing for freshmen begins March 26- 29 and starts back up April 23-26 which coincides with TAKS testing for sophomore and juniors.
“[Students] will have to expect a lot more writing and in depth questions,” English teacher Jessica Parlett said.
The new test a change for freshmen, and some aren’t too excited about it.
“I believe it’s unnecessary because upper class men don’t have to take it, but we still have to take more tests,” freshman Marlen Zamora said.
The STAAR test does change the testing schedule though. With the TAKS test, students had around 10 or so days of testing but with the new STAAR test students can expect to see 45 testing days, but administration still believes that the test is a step in the right direction.
“We have been planning for the test for many years. Teachers have the curriculum that is up to date and aligned with the new standards,” Taylor added, “Madison teachers know exactly how to help.”