Could You Pass the STAAR Test?

    Fourth and ninth graders in Texas Public Schools have started taking STAAR, the new standardized test that will replace the TAKS test. The goal of the new testing system is to make sure students are ready for post-high school education and the job market.
    In 1980--it was TABS, then for the past few years it was TAKS, now it's STAAR, a standardized test given to students across the state of Texas.
    Students are given just four hours to complete what the Texas Education Agency is calling "a more rigorous and in-depth test" than previous TAKS test. So we took a sample test around town to see how those out of high school would do.
    "It's pretty difficult, there are questions that I haven't used in about heck if ever," said Brandon Vaughn, a college graduate.
    Though challenging, Vaughn thinks it'll motive students to want to do better since advancing to the next grade and graduating are at stake.
    "The key is wanting to do better on this, so I think that is the challenge because the benefits of doing this test and succeeding on it are paramount," said Vaughn.
    Another test taker, Ron Fishcli, says knowledge isn't just memorizing facts to answer a test.
    "Knowledge is important, but also being able to function in the world is important and this gets us down to so much emphasis on checking boxes that we forget there is a whole lot more than being educated," said Ron Fishcli, MSU Dean of Arts and Science.
    After taking the test he scored 11 out of 12 correctly, but worries many of his freshman students may not perform as well.
    "I think ideally i would like to see virtually every student we teach be able to answer all of those questions but that's not the reality, and trying to leap from where we are to to that level of difficulty it's not getting us where we need to go," said Fischli.
    Wichita Falls Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas says as they receive test scores back from the 2012 test, the district will adjust the curriculum where necessary to ensure students are prepared.

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