Aug 30, 2014 by

“Why Texas’ STAAR Math Tests in 5th and 8th May Have Been Suspended This Year”

by Donna Garner



With the help of an experienced Texas math teacher, now we understand why Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams may have decided to suspend for this present school year (2014-15) the requirement that students in Grades 5 and 8 must pass the STAAR Math test to be promoted to the next grade level.


For this school year only, promotion for students in Grade 5 and 8 will be decided based upon other academic information outside the STAAR test results.  


Grade 5 and 8 students will still take the STAAR Math test in the spring of 2015, but the performance standard will not be set until after that administration.  


Then by the 2015-2016 school year, the “new” Math STAAR test will again count for promotion.


What changes were made to the Math TEKS? 


The newly revised Math TEKS have some significant changes for the 2014-15 school year, and that is why teachers will need a year to implement the new changes into their classes.  By allowing teachers this year to make the changes, this will minimize any big gaps in the students’ learning.


For instance, previously Texas students were not required to learn all four math operations with both fractions and decimals until Grade 7.  Because the National Math Panel’s research shows that students need to be ready with these skills before taking Algebra I, the new Math TEKS require students to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and decimals by Grade 5 with full mastery by Grade 6.  


To give Texas math teachers time to teach the four functions, room had to be made in the school day to teach this. In years past, translations, reflections, dilations, and rotations were introduced in Grade 3 with students going deeper into these skills each year until they got to high-school Geometry. Now transformations will be introduced in Grade 8 and extended into high-school Geometry.  The same thing was done with probability which used to be taught from Grade 2 through Grade 8.  Now probability will be moved into Grade 7.  




8.24.14 – “SSI Grades 5 and 8 STAAR Mathematics Requirement Suspended for 2014-2015” – from Texas Education Agency — http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=25769815716





Donna Garner


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