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AISD Board Delays Implementation of STAAR End-of-Course Exam “15 Percent” Grading Requirement

Under district policies approved by the Austin ISD Board of Trustees at its Feb. 27 meeting, a student’s score on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exams taken during spring 2012 will have no effect on that student’s grades or class rank. Acting on the recommendation proposed by the AISD administration, the Board deferred the implementation of the requirement under state law that 15 percent of a student’s course grade be determined by the student’s performance on the corresponding end-of-course exam.

Last summer, based on information available to the district at that time, the Board approved revisions to align the language of District Policies EIC(LOCAL) and EIA(LOCAL) to the new law. Since then, a growing consensus—shared by this district—has formed around the concern that the “15 percent requirement” could have a harmful effect on student grades and college admissions. On Feb. 17, the Commissioner of Education announced the state will allow school districts to delay the implementation of the new requirement until the 2012-13 school year. Taking advantage of the flexibility offered by the state, the Board acted to defer the requirement until next year, after students, parents and the district have had a chance to learn more about the new tests.

While student scores on EOC exams taken this spring will not count toward 15 percent of their course grades, it remains important that students work hard to perform their best on these state-mandated tests. State law requires students to meet assessment requirements in addition to coursework requirements before they become eligible to receive a diploma from a Texas public high school. All students enrolled in English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World Geography, World History and U.S. History must meet minimum scoring requirements on the corresponding STAAR EOC exams in order to graduate. Students who do not meet minimum requirements will be required to retake those EOC exams.

In other words, even though the “15 percent requirement” has been suspended temporarily, student performance on each STAAR EOC exam still counts.

For more information about STAAR, please visit AISD's STAAR website: http://www.austinisd.org/staar.