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TEA News Releases Online Oct. 6, 2015

Commissioner Williams announces STAAR performance standards for 2015-2016 and beyond

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today advised school districts and charters of his recommendation to replace the current phase-in schedule for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) student passing standards with a revised approach.

STAAR performance standards have been scheduled to move to the more rigorous phase-in 2 passing standard this school year. Each time the performance standard is increased, a student must achieve a higher score in order to pass a STAAR exam. The STAAR performance standards have been at phase-in 1 for the past four years.

Under new proposed rules from the Commissioner, the traditional phase-in approach would be replaced with a standard progression approach from 2015–2016 through 2021–2022, the year final standards are scheduled to be in place. In other words, rather than larger jumps to more rigorous performance standards every few years, this progression approach would mean smaller, predictable increases every year through the 2021–2022 school year.

“This approach is intended to minimize any abrupt single-year increase in the required Level II standard for this school year and in the future,” said Commissioner Williams. “The standard progression approach will still allow annual, consistent, incremental improvements toward the same final recommended Level II performance standards in 2021–2022.”

Phase-in 2 standards were originally scheduled to take effect two years ago. However, Commissioner Williams delayed that move to allow educators and students to adjust to the more rigorous curriculum and assessments. In making this recommendation, Commissioner Williams emphasized that increasing the performance standards in smaller increments will still mean the state reaches the final performance standards on the current schedule (as illustrated by the chart below).

image illustrates the proposed standard progression approach to phasing in STAAR passing standards compared the current plan, which increases standards in large jumps every two years.


The formal rule proposal will be published in the Texas Register on Oct. 16, 2015. A 30-day public comment period will then begin.

The proposed rules to move to a standard progression approach can be accessed on the Texas Education agency website at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/Commissioner_Rules_(TAC)/Proposed_Commissioner_of_Education_Rules/.