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02/27/2012 - Administration Recommends Following Commissioner’s 15 Percent Ruling

Georgetown, Texas • February 27, 2012
Robert Scott, Commissioner of Education for the Texas Education Agency, has announced that he will defer the requirement that ninth-graders’ scores on the on the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) count toward 15 percent of their final grade. This deferment is for 2011-12 only and districts will have the opportunity to decide whether to take advantage of the one year reprieve. Scott took this action after receiving input from parents, educators and State Board of Education members, as well as statutory clarification from state leaders.
"I will definitely recommend that we defer the 15% requirement for this school year," said Dr. Brenda Albright, Deputy Superintendent. She added that since the law was passed, the requirement to tie STAAR scores to a high school student's grades has been very controversial because there is not consistency among districts. We are also still faced with the challenge to figure out a way to translate scores on STAAR's 12 end-of-course exams and apply them as a percentage of a student's final grades, she said. The Georgetown ISD Board of Trustees will take action on this item at the March 26, 2012 meeting.
Georgetown ISD administration will host a Parent Forum regarding STAAR Testing on February 28th from 7:00 – 8:00 PM in the Georgetown East View High School Lecture Hall. Representatives from K-12 will be present to answer questions regarding the new assessments. Parents are encouraged to attend.
According to TEA, the STAAR test will be more rigorous with greater item complexity to reflect the goal of better preparing students for college and career readiness. The length of the test will increase and, for the first time, the test will be timed.  Some of the other changes in STAAR include:
  • More critical analysis in reading
  • Additional open-ended (griddable) items in Math and Science
  • Students will write two essays instead of one
  • Performance will be measured in Unsatisfactory (I), Satisfactory (II), and Advanced (III)
What grades are tested:
  • Reading:  Grades 3 -8
  • Mathematics:  Grades 3-8
  • Writing:  Grades 4 and 7
  • Science:  Grades 5 and 8
  • Social Studies:  Grade 8
End-of-Course Assessments for 1st Time 9th Graders Beginning in 2011-12:
  • English I, English II, English III
  • Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • World Geography, U.S. History, World History
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For additional information please contact:
  • Brad Domitrovich, Director of School and Community Relations
  • (512) 943-1890 •