'STAAR Does Count' – Parents Get Answers to Their Questions

HISD school improvement officers underscore importance of students doing their best

February 20, 2012

Most came in person, some sent an email, and others tweeted their inquiries, but all of the participants at HISD's recent STAAR info session on Feb. 16 had one thing in common: questions about the State's new student assessment test, which makes its debut in Texas schools this spring.

Many of the questions posed at the event addressed the basics, such as how STAAR differs from the previous assessment, what students would need to know to pass it, and how it would affect the Houston Independent School District overall.

Click here for a list of questions and answers from this session.

Regardless of the answers given, the most important message presenters hoped parents would take away from the session was delivered by HISD School Improvement Officer Anastasia Lindo. "STAAR does count," she said, "so students need to take this test seriously."

School Improvement Officer Richard Barajas addressed questions about the "15 percent rule," a requirement for high schoolers that will be delayed (read announcement from TEA).

"Students will not have opportunities in certain grade levels to take the (STAAR)test again," noted HISD Middle School Accountability Manager Richard Blair, "but the EOC tests will be offered for those students who did not pass in July."

Accommodations available for students who receive Special Education services or do not speak English as their first language were also discussed, although Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Sowmya Kumar warned that, "students who take anything but regular STAAR are working toward a minimum high school diploma."

To watch full coverage of the info session in video format, click here. For more information, visit HISD's STAAR website or STAAR Q&A blog.