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The TEA's New Standardized Testing Performance Standards: As Clear As Mud

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The Texas Education Agency has released its new performance standards for the STAAR test, the newest statewide exam whose acronym we can't be bothered to decipher.

The new standards will be phased in, which is good because it may take awhile to understand them. They're as clear as anything could be, if it was translated from the original Russian to Mandarin to English by a tech writer for NASA.

An example:

-- If students take their first STAAR EOC assessment in 2012 or 2013, they will be held to the first set of Level II phase-in performance standards for every assessment in that content area. -- Students who take their first STAAR EOC assessment in 2014 or 2015 will be held to the second set of Level II phase-in performance standards. -- The final Level II performance standards will be in place for any students who take their first STAAR EOC assessment in 2016 or later. -- The final Level III performance standards will be in place for any students who take their first STAAR English III writing and reading and Algebra II EOC tests in 2014 or later.

Got that, parents and kids?

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by the denseness: "Texas classroom teachers and administrators, higher education faculty, education policy experts, staff from the Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and psychometricians who are experts in the development of educational tests, worked together for four years to prepare passing standard recommendations," the TEA said.

It was probably perfectly clear until those damn psychometricians got a hold of things.


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