Curriculum & Instruction » State Assessment Information

State Assessment Information

There are many changes to Texas student assessment for the 2021-2022 school year. This blog post from ESC13 will examine the known changes as well as some of the things that will not change for the upcoming year.

 

Change in Test Vendor

Cambium Assessments, Inc. (CAI) will be the new state test vendor starting in 2021-2022. CAI will handle all of the state testing program (STAAR, STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS, and TELPAS Alternate). This means that testing personnel will need to learn new processes for all testing activities (ordering, registration, accessing reports, etc.) and students will have a new testing interface for online testing. On the positive side, testing personnel will now have only one system to access for all state testing. They will have to remember only one password and will have the same processes (ordering, registration, etc.) for each assessment. Students will also interact with the same user interface for all state tests.

Pearson will still be involved in the state testing program but in an entirely behind-the-scenes role. Pearson will help develop test items and build test forms. ETS will no longer have a role in the Texas Assessment Program.

 

 

Elimination of Tests

The Texas Assessment Program has been streamlined. The stand-alone grades 4 & 7 writing STAAR assessments have been eliminated, as have the optional Algebra II and English III EOCs. These tests will no longer be provided by TEA.

HB 4545 eliminated the automatic retention of students in grades 5 & 8 based on their reading or math STAAR test results. Because of this, the retesting of grades 5 & 8 reading and math STAAR assessments has been discontinued. All grades 3-8 STAAR testing will now occur only in May.

 

Grades 3-8 Reading Language Arts Redesign

The grades 3-8 reading STAAR tests are currently undergoing a redesign. In spring 2022 the 2017 Reading Language Arts TEKS will be assessed and the number of cross-curricular passages on the assessments will increase. The tests will continue to have embedded multiple-choice field test items covering revising and editing. Embedded field test items do not affect the student’s test score. There will not be a writing prompt item on the 2022 3-8 reading STAAR tests.

 

Stand-Alone Field Tests

To meet the legislative requirement that no more than 75% of the points on the STAAR tests come from multiple-choice items TEA has been developing new item types. Because these item types are so different from the ones on the current tests they cannot be embedded. Schools will be notified by August 23, 2021, if they have been selected to participate in stand-alone field tests from February 7-18, 2022. All STAAR grade level and subject tests will be field-tested. Participation will be online only and is mandatory for all selected schools. Clifton ISD has been selected for Grade 5 Mathematics, Grade 6 Reading Language Arts and End of Course for English I.

 

 

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STAAR Released Test Questions

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) releases two types of test questions for the STAAR program — sample questions and test forms.

  • Sample test questions are small subsets of test questions released from the STAAR test banks. These test questions may have been previously administered.
  • A test form is a set of released test questions previously administered together to Texas students, which reflects the STAAR test blueprints.
 
Tutorials and Practice Tests

STAAR online tutorials, practice tests, and operational assessments are available through the STAAR Online Testing Platform. The tutorials and practice tests are available to help students familiarize themselves with the online testing environment and embedded tools. Any students taking an online test are strongly encouraged to complete the tutorials and practice tests prior to taking the assessment.

The STAAR Online Testing Platform operates through a secure browser that must be installed on a desktop or tablet to access the tutorials.