Standard Education Assessments In Texas
The state of Texas has two primary standardized testing systems used for students from kindergarten through 12th grade: STAAR and TELPAS. In addition to these, the TSI is a state-run standardized test "which determines the appropriate level of college course work for an incoming student". Each program varies in what is tested and which grades it is administered to. More information about each has been provided below.
- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) comprises three primary "student assessment program[s], including the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)".
- The TAKS was discontinued during the 2017-2018 school year. Since that time, any student for whom a TAKS was previously required for graduation has two options: (1) he/she may "request a strict decision" from their most recent high-school, which will be based on their in-class and regular testing performance; or (2) he/she may take and perform satisfactorily on the SAT, ACT, TSI, and/or STAAR.
- "Texas’ student assessment program is designed to measure the extent to which a student has learned and is able to apply the knowledge and skills at each tested grade or course identified in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The state assessment program is fully aligned to the TEKS, the statewide curriculum required to be taught."
- While STAAR and TELPAS are the only existing standardized testing programs in the state, the TEA also provides a number of other free and 100 percent optional assessments which can be used in between standardized tests in order to assess students' progress.
- In addition to these standardized testing programs operated by the TEA, the state of Texas also administers the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI), which is taken by incoming college freshman to determine their level of coursework.
- The STAAR, or the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, comprises a number of standardizes tests administered to students between third and eighth grade as well as in high-school.
- For students in third through eighth grade, the program includes testing for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies, with specific tests being determined based on a student's grade level. More specifically, students in third through eighth grade are tested on reading and math, students in fourth and seventh grade are tested on writing, grades five and eight are tested on science, and students in eighth grade are tested on social studies.
- As well, the program includes "end-of-course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S. history", which are administered to high-school students in the state.
- While the STAAR wasn't introduced until 2012, that is the primary standardized testing program used today in Texas.
- The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System, or TELPAS, was designed by TEA specifically for ESL (English as a second language) students in the state, and is used to assess those students' progress in learning the English language.
- The test is administered to students from kindergarten through high-school, and includes sections for reading, speaking, and listening.
- Unlike STAAR, TELPAS does not test on in-class subjects such as reading, math, or science. Instead, the test's focus is on a student's progress in learning the English language.
- The TSI, or Texas Success Initiative Assessment, "is a program which determines the appropriate level of college course work for an incoming student", and was enacted by the Texas State Legislature.
- This test includes three sections, for math, reading, and writing, and has been required of incoming college freshman since about 2010.
- Students are required to meet a minimum scoring threshold for each section: 350 for math and 351 for reading. For the writing section, students must obtain "a score of 5 on the essay section or a score of 4 on the essay and a minimum score of 340 on the multiple-choice section".
- "Although there are several criteria which exempt a student from the need for this program, many incoming college students in Texas will be required to take them. Other than the essay portion, the exams themselves are multiple choice and computer adaptive, as questions increase or decrease in difficulty based upon previous answers."
- As noted above, there are a number of potential exemptions for students eligible for the TSI, such as college-to-college transfer or a certain score on the SAT's.