The Texas Education Agency has revamped an online portal so it will allow parents, for the first time, to see how their kids answered on the most recent administration of state standardized tests.
Starting June 30, parents of third- through eighth-grade students will be able to log on to texasassessments.com and see how their child answered on each question of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. Although high school students’ STAAR scores are available through the website now, how they answered on the test won’t be available until sometime next year, agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said. Texas is among the first states in the nation to offer this kind of tool, according to the education agency.
“The ability for each parent to view the actual STAAR questions posed to their child, along with the answers their child provided, should provide greater insight into the expectations at every grade level,” Education Commissioner Mike Morath said in a news release Tuesday.
STAAR scores have been relatively stagnant since it was first administered five years ago. Elementary and middle school students demonstrated mixed results this year in their performance on the first administration of Texas’ standardized tests.
STAAR math scores for fifth- and eighth-grade students showed improvement, but reading scores for both grades dropped.
Education agency officials say that the portal is designed to help parents prepare students as they progress from grade level to grade level.
Each student is assigned a unique access code to view their scores through the portal. The code should be available on a paper version of the student’s scores mailed to their home.
Once logged in, parents can see how a child performed on a specific assessment, how the student is progressing from the previous school year, and the level of reading difficulty a student can successfully accomplish. Parents also will see that the state got rid of the labels it uses to grade student performance on the STAAR. Now, the state notes whether the student masters a grade level; meets a grade level; approaches a grade level; or does not meet a grade level.
Each question on the test also lists the state curriculum skill that the student was supposed to master to answer the question correctly. The portal offers additional learning resources to help the student master those skills.
Culbertson didn’t say Tuesday how much the revamped portal cost the state. The change was initiated by Morath, who became education commissioner in 2016 after serving as a Dallas school board member and starting a couple of tech companies.