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Joe Smith: Cost of the “STAAR” Test -March 28, 2011
By Joe F. Smith - TexasISD.com
Mar 28, 2011, 09:00

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Some public school administrators and legislators have questioned the logic of focusing expenditure reduction totally on personnel without touching the new Texas high stake end-of-course testing, “STARR”, an acronym for “State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness”.  The refrain is that we are getting rid of the teacher, but not the testing.  The recent push back from the legislature that local district should reduce “out of the classroom” services. not “in the classroom” services is not a viable alternative for many of the most efficient districts in the state that have nothing to cut. They have the lowest funding in the state, therefore, any cuts will impact student achievement in these districts.  One possibility would be to reduce or postpone testing during this difficult financial time and flow more money to the local districts. However, this idea has never actually been on the table.

Just how much does the state spend on testing and how much is the new STARR testing going to cost?  The following answer to this question, is from an open record requests, is provided by a concerned citizen:  

“The State of Texas Student Assessment costs for 2010-2011 school year is $90,665,041.00 and the total amount will be paid to Pearson.  The amount for the State of Texas Student Assessment contract for 2010-2015 is $468,392,617.00 and again, the total amount will be paid to Pearson.”

The new state rating system will debut in 2013. - js - webmaster@texasisd.com

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