June 2021 Committee on Instruction Item 3

Discussion of Annual Audit Reports for Credit by Examination from Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin

June 24, 2021

COMMITTEE ON INSTRUCTION: DISCUSSION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: NO ACTION

SUMMARY: This item provides an opportunity for the committee to discuss the annual audit reports submitted by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin regarding examinations used for credit by examination.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Statutory authority is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.023.

TEC, §28.023 establishes that districts must develop or select for review examinations for acceleration for each primary school grade level and for credit for secondary school academic subjects based on guidelines established by the State Board of Education (SBOE). As a result, the SBOE established a process for the regular review and audit of examinations provided by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin for credit by examination and acceleration by examination.

The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: General provisions in
19 TAC §74.24 include the option for school districts to administer examinations developed by Texas Tech University or The University of Texas at Austin for credit for secondary school academic subjects.

During the February 2007 meeting of the Committee on Instruction, the committee chair instructed agency staff to request that the two institutions provide the information necessary for review of each of their examinations used for credit by examination. Correspondence was sent to the institutions requesting the review. Staff members from both universities responded that the process for aligning the examinations with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) was under way for some examinations and completed for others.

During the July 2007 committee meeting, public testimony raised additional concerns regarding the examinations. The committee chair asked staff to investigate the possibility of a third-party review of the updated examinations. During the September 2007 meeting, the committee instructed staff to draft proposed changes to the rule for action at the November 2007 meeting that would require an annual report by an outside auditor to confirm TEKS alignment of the examinations developed by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

During the January 2008 meeting, the SBOE adopted a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §74.24 that added language in subsection (a)(2) specifying that these two entities must ensure that their assessments are aligned with the TEKS, arrange for a third-party audit of 20% of their assessments annually, and report the results of each audit to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) by May 31 of each year. In July 2009, TEA staff presented the first audit results. Audit results have been presented to the SBOE for discussion annually since 2009. This item presents the annual audit results that were due to the agency May 31, 2021.

Staff Members Responsible:   
Monica Martinez, Associate Commissioner, Standards and Support Services
Shelly Ramos, Senior Director, Curriculum Standards and Student Support

Attachment I
Text of Current 19 TAC §74.24, Credit by Examination

Attachment II:  
Audit Summary from Texas Tech University

Attachment III:
Audit Summary from The University of Texas at Austin