TAKS Focus Paper Essay

Abstract            Reading is the critical element of successful learning.

I think that with the TAKS we have finally arrived to the point, where reading assessment procedures are easy, understandable, effective, and unbiased. Released TAKS Reading Test carries several significant implications for students. The TAKS has positively impacted the quality of teaching reading in class. Teaching has become more structured and closely tied to state reading curriculum standards. The TAKS forms student reading expectations and expands the vision of the teaching process beyond the boundaries of conventional reading.

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TAKS Focus Paper            Reading is the critical element of successful learning. Students require extensive reading skills to achieve curriculum standards and objectives in a variety of disciplines. The TAKS Reading Test provides the basis for objective evaluation of students’ reading skills in Grades from 3 to 8. The TAKS forms an objective vision of students’ reading needs, giving teachers almost unlimited opportunities for improving the quality of the learning process. I think that with the TAKS we have finally arrived to the point, where reading assessment procedures are easy, understandable, effective, and unbiased. The test is designed in a way to avoid common assessment pitfalls, and to provide students with a relevant tool for evaluating their reading progress. I am confident that assessment procedures in reading require special approaches, to ensure that students are making progress and that they use their reading skills to facilitate the process of achieving curriculum objectives in other disciplines and subjects.

My personal experience suggests that assessment and evaluation of student knowledge should be easy and interesting; that is particularly important for 3rd grade students. The TAKS evidently strives to satisfy these assessment needs, by tying assessment to the standard curriculum objectives, and representing assessment in the form of an interesting “testing game”. I think that the current form of the TAKS Reading test will increase the effectiveness of all assessment procedures used in reading curriculum: students will move closer to understanding characters, plots, words, and meanings through an easy-to-complete test, which simultaneously forms an objective vision of student reading accomplishments (TAKS, 2006).            Released TAKS Reading Test carries several significant implications for students. First, student knowledge becomes more structured: students gradually move to achieving the standard curriculum objectives.

Second, students become more interested in what they learn: for example, as students seek to explain the meaning of a particular word, the test ties this word to a particular plot, making reading and comprehension tasks easier. These contextual approaches help students shape their vision of the world and other disciplines beyond reading. Third, the TAKS provides students with realistic expectations regarding their progress and reading skills; they finally become interested in what they are doing in class. With easy and comprehensive assessment procedures, students look forward to what waits for them in the next grades.            The TAKS has positively impacted the quality of teaching reading in class.

Teaching has become more structured and closely tied to state reading curriculum standards. From now on, teachers are able to monitor the progress, which students make towards the basic reading curriculum objectives. The TAKS Reading test helps shape teaching strategies: structured assessment reveals the most important gaps in learning.

Finally, the TAKS ties assessment to specific plots, contexts, meanings, and characters; and teachers can use these contexts and plots to facilitate the process of delivering knowledge to 3rd grade students (TAKS, 2006). The TAKS diversifies assessment procedures and expands student knowledge far beyond the traditional boundaries of the reading curriculum, helping teachers to combine reading requirements with better knowledge of events, history, culture, and people in Texas. As a result, the teaching process becomes multifaceted, making children and teachers prepared to passing on to the next level of learning. The TAKS Reading test has finally raised assessment of reading skills to a new quality level, supplying teachers with an objective vision of the student progress, and providing students with a chance to evaluate their reading achievements in an easy and comprehensive way.

The TAKS forms student reading expectations and expands the vision of the teaching process beyond the boundaries of conventional reading: while completing the test, teachers identify the most serious learning gaps, and students become better prepared to passing on to the next grade.ReferencesTAKS. (2006).

Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Retrieved November 15, 2008from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/release/taks/2006/gr3taks.pdf

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