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Texas to replace standardized test in the 2011 school year

MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010 13:50 PM

Students in Texas will be subjected to a new, allegedly more difficult standardized test starting next year, according to KFDA.

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, which the Texas Education Agency reports has been used since 2003, will be replaced by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test in the 2011 school year. Students in third through eighth grade will take the test first, with high school students taking the exam beginning next year.

The test is reportedly designed to better prepare students for college with more complex questions and a higher threshold that students must meet in order to pass.

"There are some structural changes that are different," Devia Cearlock, a curriculum specialist with the Amarillo Independent School District, told the source. "Some of the language arts testing, especially the writing, is going to be a two day testing instead of a one day testing. Probably most importantly is the level of rigor is going to be higher, a step higher than what we've had with the TAKS testing."

The source reports that the STAAR test constitutes part of a Texas educational initiative to bring the state into the top 10 in rankings of college and career readiness.