In general, the STAAR EOC participation requirements state that a student “should take the STAAR EOC assessments—Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology, and U.S. History—as they are completing the corresponding courses”. Students are required to pass each STAAR EOC at the Approaches achievement level as a graduation requirement. Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.025 allows a student who does not pass the STAAR EOC but passes the course to retake the assessment without retaking the course. Districts are also required to provide accelerated instruction to students who fail to perform satisfactorily.
Foreign Exchange Student
A foreign exchange student is required to take the STAAR EOC for any corresponding course in which they are enrolled. However, unless they are pursuing a Texas high school diploma they are not required to retest.
Student served by Special Education (SPED)
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §89.1070(b), (c) gives the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee the right to determine what a SPED student must achieve on each STAAR EOC in order to receive a diploma. The decision may be made before or after the student takes the assessment. The ARD may not exempt the student from taking a STAAR EOC, they can only determine how well the student must perform on the assessment.
The ARD committee may determine that a student meets the qualifications for the STAAR Alternate 2 EOC assessments. IN this case the student would take the STAAR Alternate 2 assessment as they completed the corresponding course. The ARD committee would determine how well the student must perform on each STAAR Alternate 2 assessment to earn a diploma. There are no retest opportunities for STAAR Alternate 2 assessments, the district must contact TEA Student Assessment for guidance should a student fail to take this assessment at the completion of the corresponding course.
Emergent Bilingual (EB) Student
An EB student is expected to follow the general STAAR EOC testing requirements outlined above. The student’s Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) may determine that the student is eligible for the English 1 EOC Special Provision. Eligibility for the Special Provision includes:
- Student enrolled in U.S. schools for three school years or less OR qualifies as an unschooled asylee or refugee enrolled in U.S. schools for tive school years or less AND
- Student has not yet attained advanced high in the TELPAS reading domain
The Special Provision allows that the student does not have to retake the English I EOC each time it is administered if the student passes the course but fails the assessment. It does not take away the student’s right to participate in any test administration. The student must also fulfill any English I graduation requirements.
For the purposes of this blog, an accelerated tester is a student who takes the STAAR Algebra I, Biology, and/or English II EOC assessment prior to their ninth grade year. In this case the student’s EOC result(s) would be used for their graduation requirement(s). However, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has determined that these students must take either the SAT or ACT once during their high school enrollment to meet federal accountability requirements. The SAT or ACT will fulfill the federal high school English Language Arts (ELA) and math testing requirements, but only the ACT will fulfill the science testing requirement as there is no separate science score reported for SAT.
Enrollees from non-Texas public schools
This includes students who enroll in a Texas public school from any of the following situations:
- In- and out-of-state private and homeschools
- Out-of-state public schools (including public charter schools)
- Out-of-country schools
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §101.3021 states that if the district/school accepts full credit for a course in which there is an associated EOC based on the student’s instruction prior to enrolling in a Texas public school the student is not required to take that EOC. If the school requires the student to take any or all of the associated course in order to receive credit for the course then the student is required to take the EOC.
Credit by Exam (CBE)
Students who earn credit for an EOC associated course through CBE are not required to take the EOC if they meet the following criteria (TEC §28.023):
- Received no prior instruction in the course
- TEA Student Assessment has defined “prior instruction” to include any official instruction in the course, whether from a Texas public school, in- or out-of-state private or homeschool, out-of-state public school, or out-of-country school)
- Three or higher on an AP exam
- A scale score of 50 or higher on a CLEP exam
- 80% or higher on any other locally approved exam
Students who earn CBE for a course for which they received any prior instruction are responsible for taking the associated EOC and meeting all graduation requirements for that course.
TEC §39.025 allows a student to use some specific tests (ACT and related tests, SAT and related tests, AP exams, IB exams, and the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA and TSIA2)) in place of specific EOC tests for graduation purposes. satisfactory scores for each of the tests, as well as the EOC for which each may be used to replace, are contained in the Substitute Assessment Standards chart. It is the responsibility of the district/school to confirm the student’s score on the substitute assessment and that it meets or exceeds the required satisfactory score.
ACT and related tests, SAT and related tests, AP exams, and IB exams may be taken prior to, during, or after course enrollment and be used. On these tests, the satisfactory score may be used for either English I or English II, but not both. A student who uses a satisfactory score from one of these tests as an EOC substitute is not required to take the EOC for graduation purposes but must take the EOC for district/school accountability calculations.
TSIA and TSIA 2 have some further requirements for their use. In order to use a TSIA or TSIA2 score without taking the EOC the student must have been enrolled in a college preparatory course and be administered the assessment at the end of the course. In this case, if the student makes a satisfactory score on the assessment it may be used for both the English I and English II EOCs. If the student was not enrolled in a college preparatory course they must have taken and failed the STAAR EOC at least two times. In this case, the satisfactory language arts scores may be used as a substitute for English II only. Students using TSIA/TSIA2 as substitute assessments are not required to take the EOC for graduation purposes but must take the EOC for district/school accountability calculations.
Individual Graduation Committee (IGC)
TEC §28.0258 allows a student who has failed no more than 2 of their required EOC assessments to receive a Texas high school diploma if they qualify to graduate by means of an IGC. Students are only required to have attempted the STAAR EOC once in order to qualify for an IGC. Most students have 5 required STAAR EOC tests which means that they must have passed at least 3 of them to qualify for the IGC process, however, the statute is written in terms of number of EOCs failed, not number passed. For example, if a student transferred into Texas High School A from Private School B and High School A granted them credit for Algebra I and English I based on work completed at Private School B, then the student will only need to pass 1 of their required EOCs to qualify for an IGC.
For a student receiving SPED services, the ARD committee makes all decisions regarding state assessments and graduation as outlined in TAC §89.1070
During the 2019-2020 school year the spring and summer STAAR administrations were cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic. A student who was enrolled in a course with an associated EOC who received full and/or final credit for the course in Spring or Summer 2020 (no later than August 24, 2020) received a waiver for the EOC graduation assessment requirement for that course. If it is determined that a student is eligible for this waiver but it is not indicated in the student’s records the student may still receive the waiver and is not required to take the STAAR EOC assessment.
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.