STAAR test begins, budget cuts affect test preparation

POSTED: Monday, March 26, 2012 - 4:49pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 5:32pm

WACO -- Starting with ninth-graders students across the state opened up the STAAR test for the first time on Monday.

"It's going to be what we're saying is more rigorous and that just means that its going to be more multi-stepped. So I don't perform just one step to get the answer I might have to think may steps to get to that final answer," said Donna Trigg, Region 12 Education Services Center.

The STAAR test will have fewer mulitple choice questions and two different essays in the writing portion which differs from the taks test.

It's all designed to prepare kids for the future.

"So we're building on kids being career and college ready. So that they can do that thinking out there that we need them to do in their careers and college," said Trigg.

But after billions of dollars in education cuts school administrators have had to juggle the funds they have left to prepare for the test.

"Maybe we had to hire subs for testing--for test training um for the process of planning for a more rigorous system. So there's been an increased cost with the new system," said Jennifer Womack, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Waco ISD.

An increased cost putting some school districts in a bind.

"We've got a pocket book for textbooks and for other electronics any kind of resources for material we have a pot of money and so we have to devote it to the priorities and we have to make some very difficult decisions with those," said Womack.

The new test replacing the 9-year-old TAKS test is harder has more questions and will still be used to determine if schools meet state and federal standards.

Schoolchildren will have four hours to take each STAAR test, a big contrast from the untimed TAKS.

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