Special Populations Test - STAAR™
Students needing accommodations will take the general STAAR tests on grade level and be provided with accommodations directed by their ARD/Individual Education Plan (IEP), which comply with the accommodations guidelines from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). More information about the accommodations for students with disabilities taking STAAR, STAAR Modified, STAAR L (linguistically accommodated), and TELPAS is available at
For Special Education Students
The Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee will decide which State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) assessment a student served through special education programs should take. This decision is based on his/her abilities and eligibility requirements. Individual ARD committees will continue to consider the needs of each student and select additional accommodations and supplemental aids that are necessary to support the student’s assessment success. All students served through special education programs must have access to grade-level curriculum. Students targeted for a modified exam will receive instruction within the general education classroom with modified expectations or be provided instruction in a special education setting. These options are decided by the ARD committee. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has established student participation requirements for the STAAR Modified assessments. These are available to view at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/special-ed/staarm/.
TEA has established student participation requirements for the STAAR Alternate assessments, which are available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/special-ed/staaralt/partreqs/. The STAAR Alternate assessments are very similar to the TAKS Alternate design. STAAR Alternate will continue to reflect an online portfolio created by the special education teacher, which will be submitted to TEA. Students will continue to perform standardized tasks linked to the grade-level Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) that measure student progress on skills aligned with the academic grade-level content standards. However, STAAR Alternate will incorporate a vertical alignment in the program’s assessment tasks, and the high school assessments will move from grade-level assessments to course-based assessments. The new STAAR Alternate will reflect the same increased rigor and focus of the general and modified assessments.
It is important to note that high school students who take the STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate EOC assessments will graduate under the Minimum Graduation Plan and may not meet the acceptance requirements for a four-year state college/university. However, students will be able to participate in other post secondary opportunities that will either lead them toward meeting the requirements for participating in a four-year university program or prepare them for a career/job that does not require a university level degree.
English Language Learners (ELLs)
English Language Learners (ELLs) represent a diverse group of students who know English in varying degrees when they enter U.S. schools. It takes a number of years for a student who does not know English upon entry to U.S. schools to become fluent and able to use English effectively and independently in academic settings. Therefore, certain accommodations are provided for these students. ELLs have several options for STAAR assessment participation based on qualifying criteria and recommendations of the student’s Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC). ELLs also participate in the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), a federally-required program that provides an annual measure of student progress in learning the English language.
STAAR Requirements for English Language Learners (ELL students)
All ELL students in grades 3-10 take the STAAR or STAAR L (linguistically accommodated version of STAAR for grades 3-8 and EOC). In addition, STAAR tests are available in Spanish when appropriate for ELL students in grades 3-5. These test versions are available to ELL students who have a maximum of 3 years in U.S. schools (or up to 5 years for previously unschooled asylees/refugees). For each ELL student, the LPAC determines which assessment would be the most appropriate measure of the student’s academic progress.
STAAR L versions are for the subjects of math, science and social studies. There is no STAAR L version of the test for the subjects of reading and writing.
Linguistic accommodations are allowable for both the STAAR and the STAAR L versions of the test. For each ELL student, the LPAC determines which allowable accommodations would be the most appropriate.