Assessment & Accountability Updates

as of December 4, 2020

Region 6 ESC Assessment & Accountability Listserv

Should you wish to be removed from this email list or if someone in your district needs to be added, please contact Jessica Hassell at


While meeting with the TEA Assessment Team and other Regional Assessment Consultants across the state this week, the group discussed the idea for districts to have an assistant or back-up DTC. Given all the unknowns of this particular year, and with many districts experiencing some sort of COVID-19 quarantines, you may want to also give this idea some thought.

A couple of items to consider:

1. An assistant DTC or back-up DTC is considered "Best Practice," but it is not required.

2. How would your district function if you as the DTC had to quarantine during any STAAR testing windows? Do you already have a plan?

3. Keep in mind that anyone who serves in the role as DTC, must be a TRAINED DTC.

4. Districts may also want to consider training more than one CTC per campus this year as well. Once again, that is not a requirement.

5. How would your individual campuses function on STAAR test day if your CTC had to quarantine? Would you as a DTC be able to step into that roll? Do you already have a plan?

6. Also keep in mind that anyone who serves as the role as the CTC must receive specific CTC training from the DTC. Plan now to reduce stress during a hectic testing season.

Score Codes for 2020 December EOCs Reference Guide

The Texas Regional Testing Coordinators have collaborated to create a 2020 December EOCs Score Codes Reference Guide for district use.

Please note that this guidance is ONLY for the December 2020 STAAR EOC administration. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will continue to evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic across the state and provide additional guidance for spring 2021 state assessments closer to the administration dates. In addition, TEA is pursuing options for a waiver of participation as it relates to federal accountability and will continue to seek additional flexibility for the spring 2021 state assessments. More information will be shared once available.

Instructions for Populating the Medical Exclusion Form

The Medical Exclusion Form can be found in the DCCR by clicking on the button below. The Medical Exclusion Form will be open 12/18-01/08.

Information required for populating the "Medical Exclusion Form":

1. Texas Student Data System ID (TSDS ID)

2. Administration Information:

  • Year
  • Month
  • Program
  • Assessment Grade Level
  • Student's Enrolled Grade
  • Subject
3. Verification of Eligibility and Rationale: I hereby affirm that the student was marked absent in the school's attendance records every day during the testing and makeup window due to the medical issue and meets at least one of the following eligibility criteria (check all that apply).
  • The student is unable to receive sufficient or consistent homebound services due to medical issues (This means that the student is currently receiving homebound services; however, the homebound teacher is unable to provide services for the majority of the documented time due to the medical issues.)
  • The student is unable to respond to test questions due to a terminal or degenerative illness. (This means that the student's diagnosis is actively/currently affecting his or her daily activities such that no available accommodations can reasonably mitigate these factors.)
  • The student is receiving extensive short-term medical treatment due to a medical emergency or serious injury (e.g., coma, major head trauma, organ failure). Note: appendectomy, tonsillectomy, or broken arms/legs do not constitute a severe medical issue.
  • The student is unable to interact with peers or educators without the risk of infection or contamination to himself or herself or others (e.g., measles, respiratory illness, malaria). Note: colds and flu do not constitute a significant medical emergency.
4. Medical Exclusion Rationale: (Up to 3000 characters)

5. Local tracking number (Not required, but will help you tie it back to your system's requests)

Students CAN be counted "present" for remote learning and absent for testing due to COVID or required quarantine and still qualify for the medical exclusion. The current medical exclusion form does not reflect this situation, but TEA is revising.

Error in STAAR Test Administrator Manuals Shipped

Due to an error in calculation, ETS has determined that additional quantities of STAAR test administrator manuals need to be shipped to districts. The additional shipment will ensure that one manual per 15 students (based on registration counts from spring 2019) is shipped to districts. For the districts missing shipments of the STAAR test administrator manuals for grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and end-of-course (EOC) assessments for the spring 2021 administrations, ETS will ship additional hard copies to arrive in districts January 25–29, 2021. If after receiving this shipment, districts need additional manuals due to changes in student enrollment, contact the Texas Assessment Support Center to place an order.

Districts should not place additional orders for test administrator manuals during the December additional order window unless additional manuals are needed for the December 2020 STAAR EOC assessment administration.

Districts should also be aware that a few pages in all three STAAR test administrator manuals have mislabeled section headers. There is no impact to the content of the manuals on these pages. The pages in each manual are identified below.


STAAR Grades 3–5 74–76 STAAR Spanish

STAAR Grades 3–5 82–84 STAAR Online

STAAR Grades 6–8 60–61 STAAR


For questions or assistance regarding the information in this communication, contact the Texas Assessment Support Center at 855-333-7770,,, or via live chat through the Assessment Management System.


Additional Reports Ordering
  • Additional reports orders for the December 2020 STAAR administration should be submitted November 30–December 15, 2020, through the STAAR Assessment Management System. Districts can only order Confidential Student Labels for the December administration. For information about standard and additional reports, refer to the 2020–2021 Standard and Additional Reports document. Orders placed after the deadline will be processed twice monthly and may incur additional processing fees.

Specific Braille Instructions
  • Specific braille instructions are included in the braille kits that are scheduled to be delivered to districts by November 30, 2020. These instructions are also available for download in the Help Documentation section of the Assessment Management System. For more information, district testing coordinators should review the Specific Braille Instructions section of the online resources in Confluence.

Transcribing Griddable Questions Document
  • The General Instructions for Transcribing the Griddable Questions Student Document should be downloaded and printed as needed prior to the administration of the assessment. This material will be available in the Help Documentation section of the Assessment Management System. For more information, district coordinators should review the Transcribing Griddable Questions Student Document section of the online resources in Confluence.

Online Testing Information

  • Testing group rosters and student test tickets for the December 2020 STAAR administration will be available for downloading and printing through the Assessment Management System one week prior to the test administration. For more online testing information (i.e., proctor test logins, online testing for out-of-district and out-of-school students), district testing coordinators should review the Online Testing Information webpage.

Support Center
  • The Texas Assessment Support Center will be providing extended hours of support from November 30–December 18, 2020, for the December 2020 STAAR administration. Customer service representatives will be available to assist districts Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. (CT) during this period.


The STAAR Interim Assessments Opportunity 2 window opened November 23, 2020. Expanded grades and subjects are available. See the STAAR Interim Assessments webpage for the list of grades and subjects by opportunity. For more about registration and reporting, review the Interim Assessments User’s Manual.

New resources have launched to support STAAR Interim Assessment users, and more are coming soon.

  • Item-level report dashboard: This report is now available at the student and group-level for Online Reporting Suite (ORS) users. The report allows teachers to make quick and meaningful comparisons across students and groups of students. A demonstration video is available on the item-level report page and the STAAR Interim Assessments webpage.

  • Optional STAAR Interim Assessments Training Modules for Teachers: These training modules will offer teachers the ability to earn continuing profession education (CPE) credit while learning about the purpose, design, and usefulness of the data provided by STAAR Interim Assessments. The modules can be accessed via the STAAR Interim Assessments webpage and will be available in early December 2020.

2020–2021 STAAR Alternate 2 Student Registration

This is a reminder to register all students who will be assessed with STAAR Alternate 2 during the registration window from November 30–December 31, 2020. To receive large-print test materials, districts must indicate large print in the registration file. Refer to the Student Registration File Format document on the Texas Resource Center for additional information. Districts must enter student registration information during this window to receive test materials.

2020–2021 TELPAS Registration Window

This is a reminder that the deadline to select a data collection/registration option for the 2021 TELPAS administration is December 11, 2020. There are two data collection options. Districts may choose to have student data loaded to the STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS, and TELPAS Alternate Assessment Management System based on Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) data, or districts may submit a locally created student registration data file containing all K–12 English learner (EL) students. For more information about the data collection options, refer to the TELPAS section of Review student records in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources.

For details about indicating your selection or uploading files, see the STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS, and TELPAS Alternate Assessment Management User’s Guide in the Texas Resource Center. The window to submit district-created student registration data files will open January 11, 2021.

For questions and assistance regarding the information in this communication, contact the Customer Service Center using the live chat feature, the Pearson Customer Support Form, or by calling 800-627-0225.

Professional Learning Opportunities:

Supplemental STAAR Test Administrator Training Module

This training module was created for Test Administrators. It is designed to supplement the mandatory training required of all Test Administrators. The training consists of two training videos and twelve questions about the content covered in the videos. The module should take about an hour to complete. A Certificate of Completion will be available at the end of the module. Individuals will be prompted to fill in their first and last name and date of completion prior to printing or saving a copy of the certificate. Note that any unsaved certificates will not be retrievable at a later time.

TA Module

More Training Opportunities from ETS

The following training webinars are coming soon. Select the link to register for the training.

Webinar information and registration links are also available on the Training webpage.

Preparing for the Release of December 2020 Scores: January 12, 2021 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT
  • This webinar training will provide information regarding receipt of your December 2020 scores. The training will cover the various report types posted to the Assessment Management System for scoring and reporting. The training will also review resolution of test warnings, score code changes, rescores, and other changes needed after scores have been reported. Register HERE

In response to the extension of the spring 2021 STAAR online administrations from one week to five and the implications this change will have on scoring and reporting, ETS will host four live training sessions of the Online Testing Preparation for Spring 2021 webinar in February and March to provide multiple opportunities for district and campus personnel to listen and ask questions. The content presented in each session will remain the same and will follow standard ETS webinar format.

To accommodate this change, ETS will not have spring versions of the Overview of the STAAR Online Testing Platform and the Technology Staff Network Configuration, Secure Browser Installation, and Device Set Up webinars because there are no scheduled updates to the secure browser application and no new personal needs and preferences (PNPs). Districts can continue to access the recordings of the webinars from the fall in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources on the 2020–2021 Summative Webinar Recordings (Fall) webpage. Additionally, the Getting Ready for Your December 2020 Shipments to Arrive and the Spring 2020 Material Returns webinars will be combined, and the session will be extended by 30 minutes.

Webinar Date Webinar Title

Thursday, January 21, 2021 STAAR 3–8 Registration for New DTCs

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 Winter Activities for Upcoming STAAR Administrations

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Online Testing Preparation for Spring 2021 (Session 1)

Thursday, February 18, 2021 Online Testing Preparation for Spring 2021 (Session 2)

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 STAAR Test Material and Precode Shipments—Receipt and Return

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 Online Testing Preparation for Spring 2021 (Session 3)

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Online Testing Preparation for Spring 2021 (Session 4)

Thursday, March 25, 2021 Navigating the Texas Assessment Portal

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Preparing for the Release of Spring 2021 Scores

For additional information on these topics, refer to the STAAR Assessment Management System User's Guide. For questions or assistance regarding the information in this communication, contact the Texas Assessment Support Center at 855-333-7770,,, or via live chat through the Assessment Management System.

More Training Opportunities from Pearson

Two webinar training opportunities will be available in January 2021 to provide an overview of the STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS, and TELPAS Alternate Assessment Management System and the TELPAS Online Training Center and to help you prepare for the spring administrations.

The webinars include information on changes and key dates.

Each webinar will be offered at two different times but will include the same information. Districts will receive an additional email in January when registration for the webinars opens. Dates and times for these webinars are listed below.

STAAR Alternate 2 and TELPAS Alternate

Tuesday, January 26

Wednesday, January 27

10:00–11:30 a.m. (CT)

10:00–11:30 a.m. (CT)

TELPAS and TELPAS Online Training Center

Tuesday, January 26

Wednesday, January 27

2:00–3:30 p.m. (CT)

2:00–3:30 p.m. (CT)

For questions and assistance regarding the information in this communication, contact the Customer Service Center using the live chat feature, the Pearson Customer Support Form, or by calling 800-627-0225.

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Save your seat!

Registration is open for the 2021 TSNAP Best Practices Forum.

Join the next generation to learn about best practices surrounding assessment and accountability during the virtual conference.

Register here...


Calendar of Events - Online Calendar Upload Now Available

Click here for directions on how to import each Testing calendar into your Outlook or Google calendars.
The printed version of the 2020–2021 Calendar of Events varies slightly from the online version. The online version has been updated to reflect that the STAAR grade 8 science and social studies tests are also available online on May 6 and 7. These testing dates correspond with the testing dates listed on the Student Assessment Testing Calendar for the 2020-2021 School Year.

Additional Assessment Resources:

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2021 Accountability Development

The Accountability Policy and Technical Advisory Committees meet monthly to discuss options for 2021 Accountability. For those interested in following their work, meeting materials can be found on the 2021 Accountability Development Materials page.

When Will Academic Accountability Decisions For 2021 Be Made?

Performance Reporting is collaborating with national accountability experts, accountability advisory groups, U.S. Department of Education staff, and state legislative staff to determine options for 2021 accountability ratings. The agency plans to publicize requests for changes to the federal accountability system in December for public comment followed by a January submission. Similar to last year, the 2021 Academic Accountability Framework is scheduled for release in February/March, followed by the 2021 Accountability Manual public comment period in April.

In the meantime, you may follow the 2021 development process.

A-F Accountability:

Update from the Division of College, Career, and Military Prep

The TEAL SAT/ACT reimbursement request application opened on November 9 and closes on December 18. To prepare, districts should designate a point person at the district level for this project and ensure they have Accountability-level access in TEAL. Please view this presentation for more information. For questions, please contact TEA at or at 512-463-9762.

STAAR Participation Rate for Accountability

Performance Reporting has received multiple inquiries about the potential impacts of STAAR answer document score codes on 2021 participation rates. The participation rate calculation for reading and mathematics as well as the most frequently asked questions are provided below:

The target participation rate is 95 percent of students taking a state-administered assessment in reading and mathematics. Participation measures are based on STAAR and TELPAS assessment results.

  • STAAR Alternate 2 students with a No Authentic Academic Response (NAAR) designation are included as participants.
  • Students with the medical exception or medically exempt designations are not included in the participation rate calculation. This includes both STAAR and STAAR Alternate 2 students.

The participation rate is calculated as follows using codes from the Consolidated Accountability File (CAF).

Number of answer documents with a score code of S + Number of STAAR Alternate 2 testers with a score code of N + Number of A or O reading answer documents with a scored TELPAS or TELPAS Alternate assessment + Number of A or O mathematics answer documents with a scored TELPAS or TELPAS Alternate assessment for year 1 asylee/refugees and SIFEs

---divided by---

Number scored (S) + Number absent (A) + No authentic academic response (N) + Other (O)

If a campus marks an answer document with a score code of O (not scored) and an agency use code of 0 (remote instruction—not testing in person), would that test still be included in the denominator for the participation count?

Under traditional federal participation rules, yes. The agency is seeking a federal participation waiver for 2021 accountability; however, without a participation waiver granted from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) all Os will be included as non-participants.

If a campus were to mark an answer document with a score of A (absent) and submit the medical exclusion due to COVID or quarantine and the exclusion was approved, would that test be removed from the participation calculations?


Is the purpose of the agency use code of 0 to be able to identify these specific O codes for not scored from the other O codes that are normally included (cheating, ill during testing)?

Yes, the agency would like to be able to differentiate between traditional As/Os and As/Os that were a result of virtual learning, quarantine, or COVID-19.

2019-2020 TAPR Report

The 2019–20 TAPR will be released on November 19, 2020. Please note, that due to the cancellation of 2020 spring STAAR testing, 2020 STAAR data will not be included. The report will display 2018 and 2019 STAAR data.

Additionally, the Enrollment section in Profile is new this year. The definitions below describe the nuances between Membership and Enrollment. If comparing the data shown from this year’s report to previous reports, use the data displayed under Membership. Prior year reports used the Membership definition in the Profile section.

Enrollment: Students reported as enrolled as of the last Friday in October (October 25, 2019).

Membership: Membership differs from enrollment, as it does not include those students who are served for less than two hours per day. A student is in membership if he/she is enrolled and is either

  • scheduled to attend at least two hours of instruction each school day or
  • participating in an alternative attendance accounting program.

For example, the count of Total Students excludes students who attend a non-public school but receive some services, such as speech therapy—for less than two hours per day—from their local school district.

College, Career, or Military Readiness Outcomes Bonus (CCMR OB) Student Listing Available

This correspondence is to notify you that the 2018 Annual Graduates College, Career, or Military Readiness Outcomes Bonus (CCMR OB) Student Listings and explanatory materials are now available in the TEA Login (TEAL) Accountability application. This listing is considered final and will be used by the State Funding Division to settle up fiscal year 2019–2020 CCMR OB funding. Please note that the data in these reports are confidential.

The Summary of Finance (SOF) reports will display the count of annual graduates in excess of the proposed thresholds for the three cohorts: annual graduates who are educationally disadvantaged (economically disadvantaged), annual graduates who are not educationally disadvantaged, and annual graduates who are enrolled in a special education program.

Preliminary 2019 Annual Graduates CCMR OB Student Listings will be released in TEAL Accountability by January 1, 2021, and will be used to generate 2020–2021 CCMR OB funding. The District Planning Estimate (DPE) column of the 2020–2021 SOF reports will be updated to incorporate CCMR OB funding and used in near-final settle up calculations.

For Further Information

Additional information on CCMR OB criteria, as well as the use of military enlistment data is available on the Performance Reporting Resources page. An October 29, 2020 To the Administrator Addressed letter provides further details on the proposed thresholds and timeline.

If you have questions regarding CCMR OB criteria or student listings, please contact TEA’s Performance Reporting Division at (512) 463-9704 or

For questions regarding funding, please contact the State Funding Division at (512) 463-9238 or

Performance Reporting Resources Webpage

TEA recently posted a Use of Military Enlistment Data FAQ to provide additional clarification on common military enlistment questions as well as a one pager comparing CCMR accountability requirements to CCMR OB requirements on the Performance Reporting Resources webpage.

District & Campus Accountability Intervention & Submissions Calendars

Intervention & Submission calendars were posted on August 13th on the TEA website. The calendars may be accessed at the links below.

2020 Accountability Quicklook from Lead4Ward

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Additional Accountability Resources:

Important Assessment Contacts:

Texas Education Agency
Student Assessment Division

1701 N. Congress Avenue, Room 3-122A
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: (512) 463-9536
Fax: (512) 463-9302

ETS Customer Service
(STAAR Grades 3–8, EOC, and Interim Assessments):

Phone:(855) 333-7770

Pearson's Customer Service Center
(STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS. and TELPAS Alternate):

Phone: (800) 627-0225

Additional ESC 6 Newsletters:

Contact Information:

Jessica Hassell, M.Ed.

Assessment, Accountability & School Improvement Specialist

Regional Testing Coordinator

Region 6 Education Service Center

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