EKB(LEGAL) - TESTING PROGRAMS: STATE ASSESSMENT
State Assessment of Academic Skills
Every student receiving instruction in the essential knowledge and skills shall take the appropriate criterion-referenced assessments, as required by Education Code Chapter 39, Subchapter B [see Testing in Grades 3–8, below]. Education Code 39.023(a), (c), (f); 19 TAC 101.5
A student may not receive a high school diploma until the student has performed satisfactorily on end-of-course (EOC) assessment instruments [see End-of-Course Assessments, below]. Education Code 39.025(a); 19 TAC 101.4001
Limited English Proficient Students
In grades 3–12, a limited English proficient (LEP) student, as defined by Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter B, shall participate in the state assessment in accordance with commissioner rules at 19 Administrative Code Chapter 101, Subchapter AA. Education Code 39.023(l), (m) [See EKBA]
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall develop or adopt appropriate criterion-referenced alternative assessment instruments to be administered to each student in a special education program for whom a state assessment instrument adopted under Education Code 39.023(a), even with allowable accommodations, would not provide an appropriate measure of student achievement, as determined by the student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee, including assessment instruments approved by the commissioner of education that measure growth. The assessment instruments developed or adopted, including the assessment instruments approved by the commissioner, must, to the extent allowed under federal law, provide a district with options for the assessment of students.
TEA may not adopt a performance standard that indicates that a student's performance on the alternate assessment does not meet standards if the lowest level of the assessment accurately represents the student's developmental level as determined by the student's ARD committee.
The student's ARD committee shall determine whether any allowable modification is necessary in administering to the student a required EOC assessment instrument under Education Code 39.023(c), and whether the student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on an EOC assessment instrument to receive a high school diploma.
Education Code 39.023(b)–(c), .025(a-4)
If the student is a military dependent, the district shall incorporate procedures to accept:
- Exit or EOC exams required for graduation from the sending state;
- National norm-referenced achievement tests; or
- Alternative testing, in lieu of testing requirements for graduation in the receiving state.
In the event the above alternatives cannot be accommodated by the receiving state for a military dependent transferring in his or her senior year, then Education Code 162.002 article VII, section C, shall apply.
Substitute Passing Standard
The commissioner shall adopt a passing standard on one or more national norm-referenced achievement tests for purposes of permitting a qualified military dependent to meet that standard as a substitute for achieving a score on an assessment instrument otherwise required for graduation. The passing standard is available only for a student who enrolls in a public school in this state for the first time after completing the ninth grade or who reenrolls in a public school in this state at or above the grade 10 level after an absence of at least two years from the public schools of this state. Each passing standard in effect when a student first enrolls in a Texas public high school remains applicable to the student for the duration of the student's high school enrollment, regardless of any subsequent revision of the standard.
Education Code 162.002 art. VII [See EIF]
A district shall follow the test administration procedures established by TEA in the applicable test administration materials. A superintendent shall be responsible for administering tests. 19 TAC 101.25, .27
The commissioner shall specify the schedule for testing that is in compliance with Education Code 39.023(c-3) and supports reliable and valid assessments. Participation in University Interscholastic League (UIL) area, regional, or state competitions is prohibited on any days on which testing is scheduled between Monday and Thursday of the school week in which the primary administration of assessment instruments occurs.
The commissioner may provide alternate dates for the administration of tests required for a high school diploma to students who are migratory children and who are out of the state.
19 TAC 101.25
Alternate Test Dates
The commissioner shall consider requests from districts or campuses for alternate test dates on a case-by-case basis. Alternate test dates will only be allowed if the campus or district is closed on the day on which testing is scheduled or if there is an exceptional circumstance, defined below, that may affect a district's or campus's ability to administer an assessment or the students' performance on the assessment.
"Exceptional circumstances" include:
- Inclement weather or natural disasters that would cause a district or campus to be closed or that would cause a small percentage of students to be in attendance on the day testing is scheduled;
- Health epidemics that result in a large number of students being absent on the day of testing;
- Death of a student or school official that may impact student performance; and
- Sudden emergencies that occur on the day of testing or shortly before testing that may inhibit students from completing the assessments, such as a fire on campus, a bomb threat, an extended power outage, or a water main break.
If an alternate test date for primary test administration is approved, the commissioner may prohibit a district or campus from participating in UIL competition on the new test date if that is determined to be in the best interest of the district, campus, and students.
19 TAC 101.5003
Notice to Parents and Students
A superintendent shall be responsible for providing written notice to each student and the student's parent or guardian of:
- The testing requirements for grade advancement [see EIE] and the dates, times, and locations of testing. Notice of testing requirements shall be provided no later than the beginning of the student's kindergarten year, for students attending kindergarten in the district, and no later than the beginning of the student's first-grade year for all other students. The superintendent shall also provide such notice for students in grades 1–8 who are new to the district.
- The testing requirements for graduation and the dates, times, and locations of testing. Notice of testing requirements shall be provided no later than the beginning of the student's seventh-grade year. The superintendent shall also provide such notice for students in grades 7–12 who are new to the district. Notice of the dates, times, and locations of testing shall be provided to each student who will take the tests and to out-of-school individuals.
19 TAC 101.3012
Testing inGrades 3–8
Except as provided below, all students, other than students who are assessed under Education Code 39.023(b) (alternative assessment instrument) or 39.023(l) (LEP students) or exempted under Education Code 39.027, shall be assessed in:
- Mathematics, annually in grades 3–8;
- Reading, annually in grades 3–8;
- Writing, including spelling and grammar, in grades 4 and 7;
- Social studies in grade 8;
- Science in grades 5 and 8; and
- Any other subject and grade required by federal law.
Education Code 39.023(a)
Except as required for purposes of federal accountability, a student shall not be administered a grade-level assessment if the student:
- Is enrolled in a course or subject intended for students above the student's enrolled grade level and will be administered a grade-level assessment instrument developed under the list above that aligns with the curriculum for that course or subject within the same content area; or
- Is enrolled in a course for high school credit in a subject intended for students above the student's enrolled grade level and will be administered an EOC assessment instrument that aligns with the curriculum for that course or subject within the same content area.
A student is only eligible to take an assessment instrument intended for use above the student's enrolled grade if the student is receiving instruction in the entire curriculum for that subject.
A student in grade 5 or 8 described above may not be denied promotion on the basis of failure to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument above the student's grade level.
Education Code 28.0211(p), 39.023(a-2); 19 TAC 101.3011
An assessment instrument under Education Code 39.023 may not be administered to a kindergarten student except for the purpose of determining whether the student is entitled to the benefit of the Foundation School Program [see FD]. Education Code 39.023(a-16)
Performance on an assessment instrument administered to students in prekindergarten may not be considered for any purpose related to Education Code Chapters 39 and 39A. Education Code 39.0237
Testing accommodations are permitted for any student unless they would make a particular test invalid. Decisions regarding testing accommodations shall take into consideration the needs of the student and the accommodations the student routinely receives in classroom instruction. Permissible testing accommodations shall be described in the appropriate test administration materials.
The committee established by a board to determine the placement of students with dyslexia or related disorders shall determine whether any allowable modification is necessary in administering an assessment to such a student.
A student's ARD committee shall determine the allowable accommodations and shall document them in the student's individualized education program (IEP). [See Special Education, above]
19 TAC 101.3013; Education Code 39.023(a)–(c), (n); 34 C.F.R. 300.320(a)(6)
Beginning with students first enrolled in grade 9 in the 2011–12 school year, a student enrolled in a course for which an EOC assessment exists as required by Education 39.023(c) shall take the appropriate assessment. 19 TAC 101.3021(a)
TEA shall adopt EOC assessment instruments for secondary-level courses in Algebra I, biology, English I, English II, and United States history. The Algebra I EOC assessment instrument must be administered with the aid of technology, but may include one or more parts that prohibit the use of technology. The English I and English II EOC assessment instruments must each assess essential knowledge and skills in both reading and writing and must provide a single score. A district shall comply with State Board of Education rules regarding administration of the assessment instruments listed in this provision.
If a student is in a special education program, the student's ARD committee shall determine whether any allowable modification is necessary in administering to the student an assessment instrument required under this provision.
Education Code 39.023(c)
Students Enrolled Below High School Level
Beginning in the 2011–12 school year, a student in grade 8 or lower who takes a high school course for credit is required to take the applicable EOC assessment. The EOC assessment result shall be applied toward the student's assessment graduation requirements, as specified in 19 Administrative Code 101.3022. 19 TAC 101.3021(d)
Assessment Requirements for Graduation
A student must meet satisfactory performance on an EOC assessment listed in Education Code 39.023(c) only for a course in which the student is enrolled and for which an EOC assessment instrument is administered in order to be eligible to receive a Texas diploma.
English I or English II
A student who was administered separate reading and writing EOC assessments under Education Code 39.023(c), for the English I or English II course has met that course's assessment graduation requirement if the student has:
- Achieved satisfactory performance on either the reading or writing EOC assessment for that course;
- Met at least the minimum score on the other EOC assessment for that course; and
- Achieved an overall scale score of 3750 or greater when the scale scores for reading and writing are combined for that course.
Exceptions related to English I also apply to English language learners who meet the criteria in 19 Administrative Code 101.1007. [See EKBA]
Credits Earned Prior to Enrollment
If a student earned high school credit for a course with an EOC assessment prior to enrollment in a Texas public school district and the credit has been accepted by a Texas public school district, or a student completed a course for Texas high school credit in a course with an EOC assessment prior to the 2011–12 spring administration, the student is not required to take the corresponding EOC assessment.
19 TAC 101.3021(e), .3022
The commissioner adopts certain assessments as substitute assessments that a student may use in place of a corresponding EOC assessment to meet the student's assessment graduation requirements. A satisfactory score on an approved assessment may be used in place of only one specific EOC assessment, except as provided by 19 Administrative Code 101.4002(d)(1) (student who qualifies for use of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) as a substitute assessment and is enrolled in certain college preparatory courses).
A student at any grade level is eligible to use a substitute assessment as provided in the commissioner's chart at 19 Administrative Code 101.4002(b) if the student:
- Was administered an approved substitute assessment for an equivalent course in which the student was enrolled;
- Received a satisfactory score on the substitute assessment as determined by the commissioner and provided in the chart at 19 Administrative Code 101.4002(b); and
- Using a TSI assessment also meets the additional criteria of 19 Administrative Code 101.4002(d).
TSI Additional Criteria
A student must meet the criteria established in 19 Administrative Code 101.4002(d) in order to qualify to use TSI as a substitute assessment.
A student electing to substitute an assessment for graduation purposes must still take the corresponding EOC assessment required under Education Code 39.023(c) at least once for accountability purposes. If a student sits for an EOC assessment, a district may not mark the substitute assessment bubble for that administration.
A student who fails to perform satisfactorily on a PSAT, PLAN, or Aspire test (or any versions of these tests) as indicated in the chart in 19 Administrative Code 101.4003(b) must take the appropriate EOC assessment required under Education Code 39.023(c). However, a student who does not receive a passing score on the EOC assessment and retakes a PSAT, PLAN, or Aspire test (or any versions of these tests) is eligible to meet the requirements specified in 19 Administrative Code 101.4002(c).
19 TAC 101.4002
Verification of Results
An eligible student is responsible for providing a district an official copy of the student's scores from the substitute assessment.
Upon receipt of official results of an approved substitute assessment, a district must:
- Verify the student's score on the substitute assessment; and
- Determine whether the student met the performance standard required to qualify for a public high school diploma in Texas as established by the commissioner.
19 TAC 101.4005
A student is required to achieve a scale score that indicates satisfactory performance, as determined by the commissioner on each EOC assessment instrument administered to the student. Education Code 39.025(a)
Individual Graduation Committee
A student in grade 11 or 12 who has failed to comply with the EOC assessment instrument performance requirements under Education Code 39.025 for not more than two courses may qualify to graduate on the basis of a review by an individual graduation committee (IGC). [See EIF] Education Code 28.0258, 39.025(a-5)
A student receiving special education services is not subject to the IGC requirements in Education Code 28.0258. As provided in 19 Administrative Code 89.1070 (Graduation Requirements) and 19 Administrative Code 101.3023 (Participation and Graduation Assessment Requirements for Students Receiving Special Education Services), a student's ARD committee determines whether a student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on an EOC assessment to graduate.
A student dismissed from a special education program who achieved satisfactory performance on an alternate EOC assessment while enrolled in a special education program is not required to take and achieve satisfactory performance on the general EOC assessment to graduate. A student who took an EOC assessment while enrolled in a special education program is not required to retake and achieve satisfactory performance on the EOC assessment if the student's ARD committee determined that the student was not required to achieve satisfactory performance on the EOC assessment to graduate. A student dismissed from a special education program must achieve satisfactory performance on any remaining EOC assessments that the student is required to take. If the student fails to achieve satisfactory performance on no more than two of the remaining EOC assessments, the student is eligible for IGC review under Education Code 28.0258 and is subject to the IGC provisions above. [See Individual Graduation Committee, above]
19 TAC 101.3022(f)
A student receiving special education services who successfully completes the requirements of his or her IEP, including performance on a state assessment required for graduation, shall receive a Texas high school diploma. A student's ARD committee shall determine if the student will be required to meet satisfactory performance on an assessment for purposes of graduation.
Beginning with the 2011–12 school year, all grades 9–12 students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed with an alternate assessment as specified in the student's IEP will be assessed using alternate versions of EOC assessments as listed in 19 Administrative Code 101.3011(b)(2).
19 TAC 101.3023(a), (b)
Credit by Examination
An EOC assessment administered under Education Code 39.023(c) cannot be used for purposes of credit by examination under 19 Administrative Code 74.24. [See EHDB, EHDC] 19 TAC 101.3021(c)
Additional State Assessments
TEA may adopt EOC assessment instruments for courses not listed in statute, as described above. A student's performance on these EOC assessment instruments is not subject to the performance requirements established for the statutory assessments. Education Code 39.023(c-2)
Each time an EOC assessment instrument is administered, a student who failed to achieve a score requirement may retake the assessment instrument. [See Satisfactory Performance, above]
A student is not required to retake a course as a condition of retaking an EOC assessment instrument.
If a student failed a course but achieved satisfactory performance on the applicable EOC assessment, that student is not required to retake the assessment if the student is required to retake the course.
Education Code 39.025(b); 19 TAC 101.3021(f), .3022(d)
To the Public
Overall student performance data, aggregated by ethnicity, sex, grade level, subject area, campus, and district, shall be made available to the public, with appropriate interpretations, at regularly scheduled meetings of a board, after receipt from TEA. The information shall not contain the names of individual students or teachers. Education Code 39.030(b)
To the Board
A superintendent shall accurately report all test results with appropriate interpretations to a board according to the schedule in the applicable test administration materials.
To Parents, Students, and Teachers
A district shall notify each of its students, his or her parent or guardian, and his or her teacher for that subject of test results, observing confidentiality requirements stated at Confidentiality of Results, below. All test results shall be included in each student's academic achievement record and shall be furnished for each student transferring to another district or school. Upon receipt of the assessment results from the test contractor, a district shall disclose a student's assessment results to a student's teacher in the same subject area as the assessment for that school year. [See BQ series, FD, and FL]
19 TAC 101.3014
TEA shall adopt a series of questions to be included in an EOC assessment instrument administered under Education Code 39.023(c) to be used for purposes of identifying students who are likely to succeed in an advanced high school course. A district shall notify a student who performs at a high level on the questions and the student's parent or guardian of the student's performance and potential to succeed in an advanced high school course. A district may not require a student to perform at a particular level on the questions to be eligible to enroll in an advanced high school course. Education Code 39.0233(b)
Parents Right-to-Know Under ESEA
As a condition of receiving assistance under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), a district shall provide to each individual parent of a child who is a student in such school, with respect to such student information on the level of achievement and academic growth of the student, if applicable and available, on each of the state academic assessments required under Part A. 20 U.S.C. 6312(e)(1)(B)(i)
A parent is entitled to access to a copy of each state assessment instrument administered to the parent's child. This right of access does not apply, however, to those instruments or particular questions that are being field-tested by TEA. Education Code 26.005, .006(a)(2)
A district shall accurately report to TEA whether that student transferred into the district from out of state during the current school year.
Procedures for the reporting of out-of-state-transfer students to TEA shall be established in the applicable test administration materials. A district shall follow procedures specified in those test administration materials.
The assessment results of the out-of-state transfer students shall be reported separately to districts from the results of the district's other students in addition to the current reporting of assessment results for all students and other student subsets.
19 TAC 101.3014
Each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument administered under Education Code 39.023(a) in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, the district in which the student attends school shall provide to the student accelerated instruction in the applicable subject area. Accelerated instruction may require participation of the student before or after normal school hours and may include participation at times of the year outside normal school operations. Education Code 28.0211(a‑1)
A district shall provide each student who fails to perform satisfactorily on an EOC assessment instrument with accelerated instruction in the subject assessed by the assessment instrument. Education Code 39.025(b-1) [See EHBC]
Each district shall partner with at least one institution of higher education to develop and provide courses in college preparatory mathematics and English language arts. The courses must be designed:
- For students at the grade 12 level whose performance on:
- An EOC assessment instrument required under Education Code 39.023(c) does not meet college readiness standards; or
- Coursework, a college entrance examination, or an assessment instrument designated under Education Code 51.334(a) indicates that the student is not ready to perform entry-level college coursework; and
- To prepare students for success in entry-level college courses.
A course must be provided on the campus of the high school offering the course or through distance learning or as an online course provided through the institution of higher education with which the district partners.
Appropriate faculty of each high school offering courses and appropriate faculty of each institution of higher education with which the district partners shall meet regularly as necessary to ensure that each course is aligned with college readiness expectations.
Each district shall provide a notice to each eligible student and the student's parent or guardian regarding the benefits of enrolling in a course.
A student who successfully completes an English language arts course may use the credit earned toward satisfying the advanced English language arts curriculum requirement for the foundation high school program under Education Code 28.025(b-1)(1). A student who successfully completes a mathematics course may use the credit earned in the course toward satisfying an advanced mathematics curriculum requirement under Education Code 28.025 after completion of the mathematics curriculum requirements for the foundation high school program under Education Code 28.025(b-1)(2).
A course may be offered for dual credit at the discretion of the institution of higher education with which a district partners.
Each district, in consultation with the institution of higher education with which the district partners, shall develop or purchase instructional materials for a course consistent with Education Code Chapter 31. The instructional materials must include technology resources that enhance the effectiveness of the course and draw on established best practices.
Education Code 28.014
Security and Confidentiality
All assessment instruments included in the student assessment program are considered secure, and the contents of these tests, including student information used or obtained in their administration, are confidential.
Districts and campuses and the superintendent and campus principals in each district and campus shall:
- Implement and ensure compliance with state test administration procedures and training activities;
- Notify TEA as soon as the district becomes aware of any alleged or suspected violation of the security or confidential integrity of a test [see Violations, below];
- Report all confirmed testing violations to TEA within ten working days of the district becoming aware of the violation in accordance with the reporting process stipulated in the test administration materials;
- Ensure that the only individuals with access to secure test materials are district employees who have:
- Met the requirements to participate in the student assessment program;
- Received annual training in test security and test administration procedures; and
- Signed an oath affirming they understand their obligation to maintain and preserve the security and confidentiality of all state assessments and student information, acknowledge their responsibility to report any suspected testing violation, and are aware of the range of penalties that may result from a violation of test security and confidentiality or a departure from test administration procedures; and
- Ensure the security of the test materials as required by 19 Administrative Code 101.3031(a)(2)(E).
19 TAC 101.3031(a)(1)–(a)(2)
Violations of the security and confidential integrity of a test include:
- Directly or indirectly assisting students with responses to test questions;
- Tampering with student responses;
- Falsifying holistic ratings or student responses;
- Viewing secure test content before, during, or after an administration unless specifically authorized by TEA or by the procedures outlined in the test administration materials;
- Discussing or disclosing secure test content or student responses;
- Scoring students' tests, either formally or informally;
- Duplicating, recording, or electronically capturing confidential test content unless specifically authorized by TEA or by the procedures outlined in the test administration materials;
- Responding to secure test questions;
- Fraudulently exempting or preventing a student from participating in the administration of a required state assessment;
- Receiving or providing unallowable assistance during calibration activities (e.g., taking notes, providing answer sheets, or sharing answers);
- Encouraging or assisting an individual to engage in the conduct described above or in any other serious violation of security and confidentiality;
- Failing to report to an appropriate authority that an individual has engaged or is suspected of engaging in the above conduct or in any other serious violation of security and confidentiality under this provision;
- Failing to implement sufficient procedures to prevent student cheating; and
- Failing to implement sufficient procedures to prevent alteration of test documents by anyone other than the student.
If a district determines that a student has cheated or attempted to cheat on a state assessment either by providing or receiving direct assistance, the district shall invalidate the student's test results.
Any violation of test security or confidential integrity may result in TEA:
- Invalidating student test results;
- Referring certified educators to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) for sanctions in accordance with 19 Administrative Code Chapter 247 (Educators' Code of Ethics) and Chapter 249 (Disciplinary Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases); and
- Lowering the district's accreditation status or a district's or campus's accountability rating in accordance with Education Code 39.057(d), or appointment of a monitor, conservator, or management team to the district in accordance with Education Code Chapter 39A.
Test Administration Procedures
Test administration procedures shall be delineated in the test administration materials provided to districts annually. Districts must comply with all of the applicable requirements specified in the test administration materials.
Districts shall ensure that test coordinators and administrators receive training to ensure that testing personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge required to administer assessment instruments in a valid, standardized, and secure manner.
As part of test administration procedures, the commissioner shall require districts to maintain records related to the security of assessment instruments for five years.
19 TAC 101.3031(a-3)–(d)
Disciplinary Action and Penalties
SBEC may take disciplinary action against a person who has violated the security or integrity of any assessment required by Education Code Chapter 39, Subchapter B or has committed an act that is a departure from the test administration procedures established by the commissioner under 19 Administrative Code Chapter 101.
The superintendent and campus principal must develop procedures to ensure the security and confidentiality of the tests and will be responsible for notifying TEA in writing of conduct that violates the security or confidentiality of a test. Failure to report can subject the person responsible to the applicable penalties.
19 TAC 249.15(a)–(b), (g)
In implementing the commissioner's procedures for the administration of assessment instruments adopted or developed under Education Code 39.023, including procedures designed to ensure the security of the assessment, a district shall minimize disruptions to school operations and the classroom environment. Education Code 39.0301(a-1)
Confidentiality of Results
Individual student performance results are confidential and may be released only in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Education Code 39.030(b) [See FL and GBA]