Changes to Assessment Policy from the 86th Texas Legislature Session

During the 86th Texas Legislature session in 2019, multiple bills were passed that affect assessment policy in Texas. House Bill 3, House Bill 3906, House Bill 1244, and Senate Bill 213 all provide updates to the assessment policy in Texas. Here’s how they will affect schools within Texas.

House Bill 3: STAAR Assessment Study

House Bill 3 was one of the most transformative education bills in recent history, but it has little effect on assessment policy. The one exception is that it does require TEA to contract with a public institution of higher education to conduct a study on the STAAR assessments.This study must examine the alignment of the STAAR assessments with the TEKS as well as the readability of the assessments.

So far, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Texas at Austin to conduct this study and prepare a report. The study will include the STAAR grades 3-8 assessments from spring 2019 as well as those to be administered in spring 2020.

House Bill 1244: US History Assessment

House Bill 1244 requires the U.S. History STAAR End of Course (EOC) assessment to include 10 questions from the civics test used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the naturalization process.

The TEA must ensure that the questions chosen align with the U.S. History TEKS. In addition, a report must be issued annually that provides the questions and answers and information on student performance that is disaggregated at the state, district, and campus levels.

Due to the amount of time needed for this implementation the change to the U.S. History STAAR EOC is scheduled to occur during the 2020-21 school year. There are no changes to the assessed U.S. History curriculum or blueprint due to the legislation for the 2019-2020 school year.

Senate Bill 213: Graduation Provisions

Senate Bill 213 extends the expiration date for certain graduation provisions from September 1, 2019 to September 1, 2023 effective immediately.

Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 101.4002 is being amended to update the expiration date for students who have STAAR as a graduation requirement to use the TSI assessment as a substitute assessment for the Algebra I and English II STAAR EOC assessments. This is scheduled to be posted for public comment October 11-November 12, 2019 and has a proposed effective date of January 26, 2020.

Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 101.322 is being amended to update the expiration date for students who have STAAR as a graduation requirement to graduate based on the determination of Individual Graduation Committee (IGC).

Texas Administration Code (TAC) 101.3024 is being amended to extend the date of students who have TAKS, TAAS, or TEAMS as a graduation requirement to graduate based on alternate graduation requirements.

Butch has worked with testing and accountability for 15 years at the campus, district, regional, and state levels. Originally from North Carolina, Butch is the State Assessment Specialist for the Education Service Center Region 13, helping district test coordinators and others navigate the world of STAAR and TELPAS testing. He is available to answer any of your state testing policy and procedure questions.

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