Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills TAKS

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) is a standardized test used in Texas primary and secondary schools to assess students' attainment of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies skills required under Texas education standards[1]. It is developed and scored by Pearson Educational Measurement with close supervision by the Texas Education Agency. Though created before the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, it complies with the law. It replaced the previous test, called the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills or TAAS, in 2003. Prior to 1990, the test was known as the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills or TEAMS. Those students being home-schooled or attending private schools are not required to take the TAKS test. The Texas Education Agency, Pearson, and Texas educators collaborate to make TAKS. First, teachers reviewed the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills(state-mandated curriculum) to determine the objectives to assess on each grade level. Then educators determined how the objectives could be best assessed and developed guidelines outlining eligible test content and test-item formats. TEA created a test blueprint. Each year Pearson develops test items based on the objectives and guidelines, and the TEA reviews those items. Teacher committees are brought to Austin to review the proposed test items, and finally the items are field-tested on Texas students. Using the input of the teacher committee and the results of field-testing, TEA and Pearson build the TAKS. A more detailed explanation is available from the Student Assessment Division of TEA.
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