Study finds STAAR not too difficult to read for students

STAAR Testing Glitch_20160331032203

(Big 2/Fox 24) – Lawmakers and education advocates have brought state standardized testing under fire in recent years. One point of contention mentioned recently was the difficult passages included in the reading and writing portions of the test.

Texas education leadership put those claims to the test as researchers and experts from the University of Texas at Austin sought the answers.

In a study released last week, researchers at UT examined three key points on the reading test taken by students in Texas. Specifically, they examined how difficult the reading and writing passages were in the test, the difficulty of the questions and answers on tests in five different subjects and the tests’ alignment to what the state expects students to learn.

Ultimately, the study found most passages on the studied tests fell “within or below the specified grade band.” Additionally, the study concluded questions aligned with what students were expected to learn in each subject.

However, researchers were not able to draw clear conclusions on whether the test questions were too difficult for students.

“Because we do not have confidence in these results, we were forced to conclude that analyzing item readability in a reliable manner for this report is not possible,” a statement from the study reads.

Researchers will examine the test again in Spring 2020. You can read the result from UT researchers here.

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