Middle School
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Middle School Students Will Participate In The Following Assessments Under STAAR:

Grade 6           Reading and Math

Grade 7           Reading, Math, and Writing

Grade 8           Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies

Grade 7-8       Algebra End-of-Course STAAR Test  (Students enrolled in high school mathematics)

What to expect on the test:

English/Language Arts:
  • STAAR Reading assessments place a greater emphasis on critical analysis of passages that demonstrates greater understanding of text than a literal analysis.
  • The 7th grade STAAR Writing Assessment includes two essays: a personal narrative with a clearly defined focus communicating the importance of reasons for actions and/or consequences and a multi-paragraph expository essay.
  • Underlying processes and mathematical tools will be incorporated into at least 75% of the test questions from the content reporting categories and will be reported along with the content standards.
  • Questions are cognitively complex. 
  • Questions have multiple steps.
  • The assessment includes questions that are asked in a reverse manner (e.g., “NOT” questions).
  • The assessment includes questions where the answer could be Not here, "None of the above”, or “All of the above.”
  • STAAR Science assessments are a cumulative exam including standards from 6th, 7th and 8th grades. The TEKS are building standards through 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, meaning the content in 8th grade contains background knowledge the students learned in 6th and 7th grades.
  • The assessment measures student grasp of concepts and skills built through middle school science.
Social Studies:
  • The assessment requires students to process information and arrive at a conclusion.
  • The assessment requires students to read and analyze primary and secondary sources such as visuals, maps and excerpts. 

Student Performance:

Once students have taken a STAAR assessment they will receive a score indicating their performance. Students will fall in to one of the four categories below:

  • Masters
  • Meets
  • Approaches (Passing Standard)
  • Did Not Meet

Time Limits:

TEA established a four (4) hour time limit for STAAR grades 3-8 assessments. TEA notes that tests are designed to be finished in 2 hours however all students are provided fours to complete the test. The rationale for time limits aligns Texas testing practices with other timed state and national assessments, i.e. SAT, ACT and AP examinations. Extended time accommodations for students with unique learning needs will continue to be offered.

Impact on Grade Advancement:

The Student Success Initiative (SSI) requires that students in grades 5 and 8 pass both STAAR reading and math exams to be promoted to the next grade. Students will test in April and May.  Summer testing will be provided as an additional opportunity to pass the STAAR 5th & 8th grades reading and math exams.

Student Success Initiative (SSI)

Waiver of the Student Success Initiative Promotion Requirements

In light of past and current impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, SSI promotion/retention and retesting requirements have been waived for the 2020–2021 school year.

Accelerated instruction is still required for students that score at the did not meet level on 5th & 8th Reading and Math in May 2021.

SSI Waiver Information




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