Significant Changes to June STAAR Testing for Grades 5 and 8, Student Success Initiative (SSI) Requirements and Confidential Student Reporting Timelines

 Word version

June 10, 2016  

To the Administrator Addressed:

SUBJECT: Significant Changes to June STAAR Testing for Grades 5 and 8, Student Success Initiative (SSI) Requirements and Confidential Student Reporting Timelines

As a result of ongoing reporting issues with our testing vendor, we will be removing student consequences attached to STAAR testing for grades 5 and 8 for the remainder of the 2015-16 assessment cycle. We are also modifying the requirements for SSI and the reporting requirements for Confidential Student Reports (CSR). 

The decisions outlined in this communication are based on TEA’s commitment to our districts and students, and with the priority of ensuring that those affected are not penalized due to our ongoing vendor reporting issues.

Cancellation of June STAAR Testing for Grades 5 and 8

Given that June STAAR test results will not be required to be used for promotion decisions for SSI purposes and are not used for accountability, I am cancelling the June administration of STAAR for grades 5 and 8.  

Students in grades 5 and 8 who did not perform satisfactorily on the March 2016 or May 2016 STAAR mathematics and/or reading tests will not be retested in June. We encourage districts to use local discretion to determine on an individual basis whether accelerated instruction should be offered in the applicable subject area for students who did not pass the mathematics and/or reading assessments in March and/or May. For the 2015–2016 school year, districts are not required to convene grade placement committees based solely on grade 5 and 8 STAAR results.  Instead, you should use local discretion and all relevant and available academic information to make promotion/retention decisions for these students as you see fit, such as the recommendation of the teacher and the student’s grade in each subject.

Confidential Student Report (CSR) Guidance

Given delays in reporting, TEA is altering the start of the five-day timeline for sending CSRs to families. CSRs must still be distributed to families within five days, once reporting issues are resolved and final data files are provided to school districts.

TEA is moving as fast as possible to address any reporting concerns that are being identified. Expect further communication regarding revised timelines around score reporting for grades 3-8 and EOCs, and data file distribution in the coming days. If you need more information, please contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536.

I deeply apologize for the continuing problems your students and staff are being forced to deal with because of ongoing reporting issues with our testing vendor.

Sincerely,

Mike Morath

Commissioner of Education