Lufkin educators weigh in on new STAAR test

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Texas students can write off the TAKS test, but standardized testing isn't going anywhere.  The new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness or STAAR test will replace TAKS in two years.

The students at Lufkin Middle School are preparing for a test that won't exist in two years.

"Our world is changing and if our students are going to be competitive in the world that's coming up, then it is morally our responsibility to make sure they're prepared," said Lufkin Middle School Principal Vickie Evans.

TAKS will be replaced with the STAAR test, a change educators know won't be easy.

"They seem to have stepped up to the plate pretty well in the last few years, but some of the rigor of the test is very extensive for a kid that's 12 and 13 years old," explained middle school teacher Debbie Anderson.

"We spend a lot of money and a lot time training teachers and then we have to start all over again, so it's frustrating as educators...especially when the test will be here," said Evans.

Instructors know the math will be tougher. The new test is designed to make students college and career ready.

"There's a whole lot more problem-solving and higher-level thinking," said Evans.  "School has changed so much…they really have to be able to think and apply what they've learned."

For some teachers, STAAR brings new opportunities.

"I think that the new test will be an improvement on the old test because students will actually be tested on the things they learn in class on a daily basis," said middle school teacher Veronica Morris.

Instructors have confidence their kids will meet the challenge.

"Our kids have always shown that they can do pretty much anything on any one given day," said Anderson.  "Our scores show that they can perform well on that day."

For now, the Lufkin Middle School teachers prepare students to pick up their No. 2 pencils and face a new set of problems.

Evans said student attendance is vital in preparing for this new testing system.

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