August 30, 2014
From Texas Education Agency reports
Aug. 22 – School districts and charters have been advised by Commissioner of Education Michael Williams that due to the transition to revised statewide curriculum standards in mathematics, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) assessments for grades 5 and 8 mathematics will be administered only once in the 2014–2015 school year.
As a result, the Student Success Initiative (SSI) requirement that students in grades 5 and 8 must pass the STAAR mathematics assessment in order to move onto the next grade level will be suspended for the coming school year.
“There are substantial challenges associated with implementation of the revised mathematics statewide curriculum standards in the STAAR grades 3–8 assessments,” said Commissioner Williams in his May 1 letter to superintendents. “For the 2014–2015 school year, districts will use other relevant academic information to make promotion or retention decisions for mathematics.”
Commissioner Williams noted this suspension of the 5th and 8th grade mathematics requirement applies only for the 2014–2015 school year. State law requiring students in grades 5 and 8 to pass the STAAR reading exam in order to proceed to the next grade level will still be in effect.
The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the statewide curriculum standards, are reviewed and updated on a regular basis by the State Board of Education. As TEKS revisions are made, changes are subsequently made to the assessment program to maintain a strong, direct, and effective link between the TEKS and statewide assessments.