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STAAR Test Set To Take Center Stage

Starting next week the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and End-of-Course (EOC) exams will commence at elementary, middle, and high schools across the state of Texas. It?s the new age of standardized testing, with STARR replacing the old Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

Starting Monday, third through ninth graders will begin being assessed in a wide-range of curriculum including: reading, mathematics, writing, and science.

Students, like Maria de Jesus Contreras, say it?s exciting but scary at the same time.

?I?m a little scared it will affect me for grades, but I am very happy about it too because it?s pushing me to learn new things,? said Contreras.

Contreras said she always thought the TAKS were simple, but thinks the new STAAR could help her achieve her dreams of making it to a big college.

Soccoro ISD Superintendent Xavier De La Torre said he believes the long-term affect of the STAAR testing will be positive. On the flip side, he thinks it could affect his students negatively this school year. When I asked whether his students would be prepared he said, ?not really.?

?I think after years and years of being conditioned to expect a certain type of assessment to overnight acclimate to a test that represents a greater degree of rigor, a different way of thinking it?s hard.?

While there is worry for the oldest students who will begin taking the test, ninth grade students and below will begin this week, several schools full of younger students were busy celebrating.

O?Donnell Intermediate school in Fabens held an afternoon pep assembly, while Morehead Middle School on El Paso?s west side did the same.

For seniors, who are just a few years from a hopeful step into college it wasn?t the same type of fanfare.

?I?m not sure what I?m going to see on that test because I?ve done some practice ones and it?s like: ?Whoa!?? said Contreras.

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