The 2023 Algebra 1 STAAR introduced statewide online testing and several new item types. Using a modified version of the statewide item analysis report, I examined the readiness standards that had less than 50% mastery. Each standard has both an analysis of the items themselves to infer what made them so difficult and instructional implications for educators to ensure a more successful 2024 STAAR test.

Standard | # of items | % mastery |

A.11B | 2 | 30.5 |

A.7C | 1 | 48 |

A.8A | 1 | 30 |

A.2A | 2 | 39 |

A.9D | 2 | 49.5 |

A.2I | 1 | 39 |

A.5A | 2 | 42.5 |

A.9C | 2 | 43.5 |

A.6A | 2 | 45.5 |

A.9C | 2 | 49.5 |

Access the slide deck here.

### A.11B - 30.5% overall mastery

simplify numeric and algebraic expressions using the laws of exponents, including integral and rational exponents

#10 - 38% correct

#35 - 4% full credit, 38% partial credit, 58% no credit

###### Analysis

Fractions add a layer of complexity to dividing exponents or finding the power of a power

The drag and drop response required you to use the same number twice (not all drag and drops allow using a response more than once)

###### Instructional Implications

Utilize fractions in when asking students to multiply or divide by exponents

Bundle multiple laws of exponents into a single problem (e.g., radicals and division)

Have students practice rewriting dividing exponents as multiplying by negative exponents (e.g., x^4/x^2 = x^4 (x^-2) )

Find activities to teach this standard here.

### A.7C - 48% overall mastery

determine the effects on the graph of the parent function f(x) = x2 when f(x) is replaced by af(x), f(x) + d, f(x - c), f(bx) for specific values of a, b, c, and d

#38 - 30% full credit, 35% partial credit, 35% no credit

###### Analysis

Drag and drop removed certainty for partial guesses

Students had to analyze both a vertical and horizontal transformation simultaneously

The horizontal transformation (- 3) actually moves the vertex to the right

###### Instructional Implications

Bundle problems so that students multiple transformations together

Have students practice graphing the child function (correctly with exponent) to analyze the vertex

Find activities to teach this standard here

Watch the full walkthrough of all 50 items on the 2023 Algebra 1 STAAR below.

### A.8A - 30% overall mastery

solve quadratic equations having real solutions by factoring, taking square roots, completing the square, and applying the quadratic formula

#41 - 30% correct

###### Analysis

Distribution of answer selections (30%, 28%, 27%, 14%) indicative of guessing

Answer choices required simplifying a radical

Multiple strategies could have been used to solve the problem

###### Instructional Implications

Focus on correctly applying quadratic formula

Emphasize problems that require simplifying a radical

Have students solve the same problem using at least two different strategies

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.2A - 39% overall mastery

determine the domain and range of a linear function in mathematical problems; determine reasonable domain and range values for real-world situations, both continuous and discrete; and represent domain and range using inequalities

#7 - 33% full credit, 22% partial credit, 44% no credit

#44 - 34% correct

###### Analysis

Responses were required in verbal form (rather than as inequalities)

Students had to differentiate between open and closed circles

Problems required analysis of both domain and range simultaneously

###### Instructional Implications

Bundle problems so that students assess both domain and range together

Have students draw rays that satisfy requirements of both domain and range

Provide error analysis opportunities for students to disprove why graphs do NOT represent a given domain and range

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.9D - 49.5% overall mastery

graph exponential functions that model growth and decay and identify key features, including y- intercept and asymptote, in mathematical and real-world problems

#9 - 14% full credit, 59% partial credit, 27% no credit

#42 - 55% correct

###### Analysis

Both problems asked students to identify features of exponential graphs (i.e., asymptote, y-intercept)

Common error for asymptote was most likely labeling x-axis as x = 0

###### Instructional Implications

When working with standard form (y = ab ), also have students identify a as the y-intercept and explain why

When given an exponential function in equation or graph form, have students create a real-world situation to describe it, including naming the y-intercept

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.2I - 39% overall mastery

write systems of two linear equations given a table of values, a graph, and a verbal description

#37 - 39% correct

###### Analysis

Distribution of answer selections (16%, 21%, 24%, 39%) indicative of guessing

Solving the problem required

Finding slope of each line

Substituting an ordered pair and solving for b for each line

Transforming each resulting slope-intercept form equation into standard form

###### Instructional Implications

Focus on applying correct sequence of formulas

Practice building stamina and how to check their answers with substitution or by graphing discrete points along with the systems of equations

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.5A - 42.5% overall mastery

solve linear equations in one variable, including those for which the application of the distributive property is necessary and for which variables are included on both sides

#4 - 22% correct

#29 - 53% correct

###### Analysis

Distribution of answer selections for #4 (27%, 21%, 30%, 22%) indicative of guessing

This type of problem (linear equations and distributive property) has never been asked without explicitly providing the equation

###### Instructional Implications

Find and utilize verbal descriptions of linear equations (using the distributive property) that do not explicitly provide the equation

Have students work in pairs to create their own problems (w/o explicit equations) and exchange with peers to solve

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.9C - 43.5% overall mastery

write exponential functions in the form f(x) = ab^x (where b is a rational number) to describe problems arising from mathematical and real-world situations, including growth and decay

#14 - 37% correct

#36 - 50% correct

###### Analysis

Students were not provided a growth factor for one problem

Growth factor of 4% had to be translated to 1.04

###### Instructional Implications

Have students practice finding growth/decay factor when given initial and first-year amount

Provide rationale for translating a growth factor to 1 + decimal and a decay factor to 1 - decimal

Give students percentage (e.g., decay rate of 22%) and practice converting to decay factor (e.g., 0.78)

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.6A - 45.5% overall mastery

determine the domain and range of quadratic functions and represent the domain and range using inequalities

#11 - 47% correct

#32 - 44% correct

###### Analysis

Students needed to graph at least one problem to correctly identify range

Improper fractions in the table made visual sequencing challenging

###### Instructional Implications

Reinforce difference between domain and range and that domain is rarely limited in quadratic equations

Practice identifying range from a table by sketching a rough parabola with given points

Practice plotting discrete points in a graphing calculator to visually determine range

Find activities to teach this standard here

### A.5C - 49.5% overall mastery

solve systems of two linear equations with two variables for mathematical and real-world problems

#23 - 68% correct

#40 - 31% correct

###### Analysis

Distribution of answer selections for #40 (16%, 26%, 27%, 31%) indicative of guessing

A system of equations question has never been asked using a table

###### Instructional Implications

Have students practice taking systems of equations questions (verbal descriptions and equations) and translating them to tables

Reinforce the qualities that define a system of equations (two or more equations that share variables) to better identify them in real-world situations

Find activities to teach this standard here