Adopted Rule Changes for the Texas Assessment Program (March 28, 2013)

Word Version

March 28, 2013

Subject: Adopted Rule Changes for the Texas Assessment Program

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

This communication is to inform you about several policy changes and adopted rule changes concerning the Texas Assessment Program for the 2012–2013 school year. All of the changes will be in effect for spring 2013 testing.

ABOVE-GRADE-LEVEL TESTING FOR GRADE 3–8 STUDENTS
Amendment to 19 TAC §101.3011
(http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter101/ch101cc.html)

This adopted amendment specifies that a student in grades 3-8 would not participate in an on-grade-level assessment for a specific grade and subject if the student is receiving instruction in a subject within the same content area that is intended for students in a higher grade or if the student is taking a course for high school credit. In these cases, the student will be administered an assessment only for the subject or course in which the student is receiving instruction. For example, if a seventh grade student is receiving instruction in grade 8 mathematics, the student would take only the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) grade 8 mathematics assessment in addition to the STAAR grade 7 reading and writing assessments. The district would not have the option of also giving the student the STAAR grade 7 mathematics assessment. Similarly, an eighth grade student enrolled in an Algebra I course would take the STAAR Algebra I assessment and would not take the STAAR grade 8 mathematics assessment. 

EXEMPTIONS FOR QUALIFYING ELL ASYLEES AND REFUGEES
Amendment to 19 TAC §101.1005
(http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter101/ch101aa.html)

This amendment allows the exemption of certain qualifying English language learner (ELL) asylees and refugees from being administered a STAAR assessment in grades 3–8 beginning with the 2012–2013 school year. The exemption includes all STAAR testing at these grades, but because of federal testing requirements, the exemption applies only to the school year in which an unschooled asylee or refugee is first enrolled in a U.S. public school. The exemption does not apply to the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) program.

15% COURSE GRADE REQUIREMENT
Amendment to 19 TAC §101.3011
(http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter101/ch101cc.html)

This adopted amendment delays the implementation date for the 15% course grade requirement by one year—until the 2013–2014 school year. This amendment does not prohibit a district from including scores on STAAR EOC assessments in a student's final course grade for the 2012–2013 school year should a district choose to do so. If a district chooses to delay implementation of the 15% course grade requirement for the 2012–2013 school year, there is no need to notify the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

ADOPTION OF LEVEL II: SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AS ONE OF THE POSTSECONDARY READINESS INDICATORS

As required under Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.024 and §39.0241, TEA and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board have adopted cut scores on the STAAR Algebra II, English III reading, and English III writing assessments that exempt students from further testing under the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). These cut scores are also used to determine a student's need for enrollment in developmental education courses. The commissioner of education and the commissioner of higher education have designated the final recommended cut scores for Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance on STAAR Algebra II, English III reading, and English III writing as the initial postsecondary readiness indicator to use for TSI exemption purposes. Additionally, per TEC §39.025(a-3), the final recommended Level II cut scores on STAAR Algebra II, English III reading, and English III writing will be the assessment requirements for students graduating under the Distinguished Achievement Program. In making these designations, the agency considered data relating student performance on STAAR to various measures of postsecondary success. For example, students achieving the final recommended Level II standard have at least a 70% likelihood of earning a grade of C or better in an entry-level general education course in the same subject area offered at Texas institutions of higher education based on studies that included samples of students enrolled in Texas two-year and four-year institutions. 

ADOPTION OF THE 2013 TEST SECURITY SUPPLEMENT
Amendment to 19 TAC §101.3031
(http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter101/ch101cc.html)
This amendment adopts into rule the 2013 Test Security Supplement for the 2012–2013 school year. The 2013 Test Security Supplement describes the security procedures and guidelines, including test administration procedures and training activities that school districts and charter schools will be required to follow to ensure validity, reliability, and security of assessments. The 2013 Test Security Supplement incorporates language from 19 TAC §101.65, Penalties, which addresses conduct that violates the security and confidentiality of a test and penalties for such violations.

Please call TEA's Student Assessment Division at (512) 463-9536 if you have any questions about this information.

Assessment Contact Information
Texas Education Agency
Department of Assessment and Accountability, Criss Cloudt, Associate Commissioner
Student Assessment Division, Gloria Zyskowski, Director
(512) 463-9536
studenta@tea.texas.gov