Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
The Texas Education Agency replaced the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) with the (TAKS) as the state mandated criteria-referenced test. TAKS is a completely reconceived testing program. It includes more of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) than the TAAS did and attempts to ask questions in more authentic ways. TAKS has been developed to better reflect good instructional practice and more accurately measure the student learning.
Spring 2003 was the first administration of the TAKS. In November 2002, the Texas State Board of Education received recommended passing standards from a panel of experts. The Board adopted a two-year phase-in process for the passing standard on the test. The passing standard for 2003 was 2 SEM (Standard Error of Measurement) below the panel recommendation. One SEM was the passing standard for 2004, and the panel recommendation is the passing standard for 2005 and beyond.
The TAKS reading test is administered in English to grades 3 - 9 and in Spanish to grades 3 - 6. English Language Arts is administered to grades 10 - 11 (exit). Mathematics is administered in English to grades 3 - 11 (exit) and in Spanish to grades 3 - 6. Writing is administered in English to grades 4 & 7 and in Spanish to grade 4. Social Studies is administered in English to grades 8, 10, and 11 (exit). Science is administered in English to grades 5, 10, and 11 (exit) and in Spanish to grade 5. A grade 8 science test was added in 2006 using the phase-in passing standard process.