Changes to the May 2021 STAAR Administration



House Bill (HB) 3906, signed by the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019, is bringing several changes to the STAAR test, and there are a few we can expect during this year's May administration. As most of you've heard by now, the 2021 April STAAR administration is the last administration of the grades 4 and 7 stand-alone writing tests. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is working on redesigning the reading/language arts assessments for grades 3-8 to match the new ELAR TEKS that began being implemented in school year 2019-2020. TEA's plan for the redesign of the STAAR assessments include:

  • Eliminating the stand-alone grade 4 & 7 writing tests and assessing the new ELAR TEKS

  • Prioritizing cross-curricular content integration for reading/language arts passages

  • Capping the multiple-choice questions at 75% and incorporating new item types on all STAAR tests in 2022-2023

  • Moving toward the electronic administration of all assessments by 2022-2023

During this year's May administration, multiple-choice writing items will be field-tested in all grade 3-8 reading tests. The new test item types are being tested with educator focus groups and in cognitive labs to see how students respond to them, but they won't appear on the May 2021 STAAR tests. According to TEA, next school year (2021-2022), we can expect:

  • Stand-alone field testing of the new item types (multipart, multiselect, constructed response, drag & drop, hot spot, inline choice, text entry, highlight text, sliders (bar graph), and graphing) - We'll write another post on those later!

  • Blueprints and more sample new item types in the online STAAR platform

  • More multiple-choice item writing items field-tested in the gr. 3-8 reading tests

Then by 2022-2023, TEA expects a full implementation of the STAAR redesign with new test item types in a fully electronic administration.


So for this school year, the only extra thing you'll need to do to prepare your students for the May STAAR is letting them know that writing multiple-choice items will be field-tested within the gr. 3-8 reading tests. Preparing them for the new item types can wait until next school year!

So for this school year, the only extra thing you'll need to do to prepare your students for the May STAAR is letting them know that writing multiple-choice items will be field-tested within the gr. 3-8 reading tests. Preparing them for the new item types can wait until next school year!


Good luck to you and your kiddos!!


~Heather Watson East

Watson Works, LLC

heather@watsonworksedu.com




Disclaimer: Watson Works, LLC is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any other company, agency, or government agency, to include the TEA, and reference of the STAAR test does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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