Assessment & Accountability Updates

as of February 5, 2021

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 jhassell@esc6.net.

ASSESSMENT UPDATES:

Student registration for the 2020–2021 STAAR administrations will be available through the STAAR Assessment Management System during the dates below:

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2021 STAAR Alternate 2 Late Registration

Districts that did not complete STAAR Alternate 2 student registration during the registration window (November 30, 2020–December 31, 2020) must complete late registration when the Additional Orders Window opens on March 8, 2021. Districts must enter student registrations to receive test materials.


Districts must now indicate Large Print in the registration file for any student needing a large-print test booklet. Refer to the Student Registration File Format document under Resources > Additional Resources on the Texas Resource Center.

2021 TELPAS Online Basic Training Modules

Online basic training modules for new grades K–1 and 2–12 raters are now available on the TELPAS Online Training Center. New users are required to create a new user profile and must enter the keyword training2021 to do so. Returning users may log in using the same username and password used in 2020. If a returning user’s email address has changed, they must contact the Customer Service Center to update it. Returning users should NOT create a new account.


Monitored calibration sessions must be established for raters to complete individual calibration activities.

  • Access to calibration is passcode protected.
  • There are separate passcodes for set 1 and set 2.
  • Coordinators will provide proctors the daily passcodes for use in monitored calibration sessions.


A document titled “TELPAS Online Training Coordinator Resources Information" can be accessed within the Published Reports section of the STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS, and TELPAS Alternate Assessment Management System. The information contained in this document should only be shared with other designated personnel acting as district testing coordinator assistants.

Spring and Summer 2021 Assessment Guidance

The purpose of this communication is to provide information regarding the spring and summer 2021 administrations for the Texas Assessment Program, which includes the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) grades 3–8 and end-of-course (EOC) assessments, STAAR Alternate 2, the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), and TELPAS Alternate.


A frequently asked questions guidance document has been posted on the COVID-19 Support: Student Assessment webpage in response to districts’ concerns regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the spring and summer 2021 assessments. Although state assessments will not be used for state or federal accountability purposes for the 2020–2021 school year, the state assessments will provide equitable baseline data necessary to determine actual learning loss during the COVID-19 crisis and areas to address for the benefit of all Texas students.

April 2021 STAAR Administrations

Initial Orders

Initial material orders for the April 2021 STAAR administrations are determined by paper registrations identified in the STAAR Assessment Management System at the close of the paper registration window, February 5, 2021. Large print, oral administration, and Spanish test booklet needs should be identified directly in a student’s test registration and may be entered into the Assessment Management System manually via the student’s profile or a registration upload file.


Districts can view registration-based quantities of test booklets to be received by campus and input additional quantities of large print, oral administration, and Spanish test booklets needed. Authorized staff can also use the Test Mode/Materials Report to verify counts prior to the close of the paper registration window. Refer to Section 8.2 Initial Material Orders of the STAAR Assessment Management System User’s Guide for additional information and instructions.


Out-of-District (OOD) and Out-of-School (OOS) Registration
OOD and OOS examinees may now register for the April 2021 STAAR EOC administration. Examinees should register online at April and May 2021 STAAR End-of-Course Out-of-District/Out-of-School Registration by February 5, 2021, for districts to receive precoded materials and test booklets.

Braille Material Kit Orders
The deadline to order braille materials for the April 2021 STAAR administration is February 5, 2021.

Online Infrastructure Readiness
Technology infrastructure and readiness must be assessed before administering online versions of the STAAR assessments. It is recommended that district and campus testing coordinators work closely with technology staff to prepare for STAAR online testing.

To prepare for online testing, district coordinators and technology staff should use the available resources and complete the tasks listed on the Texas Assessment Technology webpage. Resources are also available on this webpage.

May 2021 STAAR Administrations

Student Precode Registration Reminder
This is a reminder to submit precode files for the May 2021 STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading administration by February 5, 2021.

Initial Orders
Initial material orders for the May 2021 STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading administration are determined by paper registrations identified in the Assessment Management System at the close of the paper registration window, February 12, 2021. Large print, oral administration, and Spanish test booklet needs should be identified directly in a student’s test registration and may be entered into the Assessment Management System manually via the student’s profile or a registration upload file.

Districts can view registration-based quantities of test booklets to be received by campus and input additional quantities of large print, oral administration, and Spanish test booklets needed. Authorized staff can also use the Test Mode/Materials Report to verify counts prior to the close of the paper registration window. Refer to Section 8.2 Initial Materials Orders of the STAAR Assessment Management System User’s Guide for additional information and instructions.

Braille Material Kit Orders
The deadline to order braille materials for the May 2021 STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading administration is February 12, 2021.

Optional Beginning-of-Year Assessments Data Help Quantify Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Texas Students

After the cancellation of the end of school year 2019-20 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) offered optional beginning-of-year (BOY) assessments so schools across the state could measure how well students learned the prior grade-level’s knowledge and skills. With that information, schools and teachers could make adjustments to curriculum and instruction for the fall of the 2020-21 school year, adjustments that would be necessary to help maximize student learning given the disruptions caused by COVID-19 in the spring of 2020.


Students were able to access the assessments as a printable PDF or by using an online platform either at home or at school. Results cannot be tabulated for those who used the printable PDF version of the assessment. 648,609 students from 334 different school systems took the optional BOY assessments online.


Researchers were able to use statistical techniques to extrapolate this sample to the entire state, effectively allowing results from the BOY to measure the extent students lost academic knowledge and skills relative to normal years as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns from March through early fall 2020.


The results of the study indicate students experienced 3.2 months of instructional loss from the closures, in addition to the typical 2.5 months of summer learning loss. To gain greater insight into what the data from these optional assessments revealed and what statistical methods were used to reach this conclusion, visit Assessment Reports and Studies | Texas Education Agency.

Assessment Scoring & Reporting

Reports for the December 2020 STAAR EOC administration were posted to the STAAR Assessment Management System on January 15, 2021. STAAR Report Cards, rosters, summary reports, and data files can be accessed through the STAAR Assessment Management System. The Student Portal was updated Monday, January 18. The raw score to scale score conversion tables are posted here.


The window for resolving data problems for the December 2020 STAAR EOC administration opened on December 08, 2020. All resolutions must have been completed by January 07, 2021, to be reflected in the final region and state reports. Districts may continue to resolve student data problems for up to one year after each test administration. Districts that resolve problems after the January 07, 2021, deadline will receive updated STAAR Report Cards and data files, but changes will not be reflected in statewide reports. For questions or help with accessing and interpreting STAAR results, districts and parents can email assessment.reporting@tea.texas.gov or call (512) 463-9704.

STAAR Interim Assessments

Optional Training Modules
Optional training modules for STAAR Interim Assessments are available and can be found on the STAAR Interim Assessments webpage. These modules provide assessment literacy support and explain how interim assessment data are useful to a teacher. Teachers have the potential to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit upon completion.

Testing Windows are Open

Both testing opportunity windows are open for districts to register students to complete a STAAR Interim Assessment. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has provided guidance for students to complete the interim assessments at home. Information can be found in Section 10 of the STAAR Interim Assessments User Manual.



Interim Assessment Opportunity Test Dates

Opportunity 1 Tests August 17, 2020–March 31, 2021

Opportunity 2 Tests November 23, 2020–March 31, 2021

Statewide Rate for College Preparation Assessments

Background

Texas Education Code (TEC), §48.155, added by HB 3, entitles districts to reimbursement for the cost of the administration of one college preparation assessment (ACT, SAT, or TSIA) per student in the spring of the student’s junior year or in the student’s senior year, beginning in the 2019‐2020 school year. Under TEC, §39.0261(b), the agency must

(1) select and approve vendors of the specific assessment instruments; and

(2) provide reimbursement to a school district for all fees associated with the administration of the assessment instrument from funds appropriated for that purpose.


Statewide Rate

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released a request for proposals (RFP) calling for organizations to offer a uniform, statewide rate for a universally accepted, norm-referenced college preparation assessment administered on a school day. As a result of the RFP, TEA awarded two-year contracts with the opportunity for three optional renewals with ACT, Inc. for the administration of the ACT and the College Board for the administration of the SAT. The pricing structure is as follows:


  • ACT, Inc./ACT State and District Testing: 20-21=$35, 21-22=$36, 22-23=$37, 23-24=$38, 24-25=$39
  • The College Board/SAT School Day: 20-21=$35, 21-22=$36, 22-23=$37, 23-24=$39, 24-25=$41


The rates are uniform and apply to Texas public school students who test on a school day and who are eligible for reimbursement (i.e., students who test either in the spring of their junior year or during their senior year). Students who are identified in other grade levels may not receive this statewide rate and may be charged at a higher rate by the vendor.

All local education agencies (LEAs) should review pricing with the vendor prior to test administration.


Reimbursement Reminders

As noted above, LEAs cannot receive more than one reimbursement per student. TEA provides each district estimated funding annually for assessment reimbursements, which can be found in the Summary of School Finance Report (line 40). TEA will settle up with districts in the spring of the following fiscal year, once all student assessment data is processed.


Other Benefits

Other benefits for Texas educators and students as a result of these contracts include, but are not limited to:

The College Board

  • Texas specific website
  • Income eligible benefits for students who qualify for fee waivers
  • SAT and TEKS alignment report
  • Personalized Official SAT Practice and diagnostics through Khan Academy
  • Statewide support for school day administration implementation

ACT

  • Texas specific website (forthcoming)
  • Income eligible benefits for students who qualify for fee waivers
  • ACT and TEKS alignment report
  • ACT practice through ACT Learning Resources
  • Statewide support for school day administration implementation


For Further Information

If you have additional questions regarding this correspondence, please contact Advanced Academics at advancedacademics@tea.texas.gov or 512-463-9762.

Award of Student Assessment Contracts

This communication is to inform you of the selection of Cambium Assessment, Inc. and NCS Pearson, Inc. as the vendor team to support the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in the development, administration, scoring, and reporting for the Texas Student Assessment Program beginning September 1, 2021, through August 31, 2024.


ETS (Educational Testing Service) and Pearson will continue their respective work under their existing contracts through the completion of the spring and summer 2021 administrations, concluding their work on August 31, 2021.


Under the new contracts, Cambium will host and manage a single testing platform for all assessments and manage the registration, administration, scoring, and reporting for the entire assessment portfolio—the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®), STAAR Alternate 2, the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), and TELPAS Alternate. This also includes STAAR Interim Assessments. Cambium delivered more than 60 million online tests in 2018–2019 and currently serves 28 states and territories, as well as the College Board.


Pearson will be responsible for item development and test form construction. Pearson has supported Texas assessments for 40 years and will be a valuable resource in developing items that strongly align to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).


Cambium, Pearson, and TEA will work closely with education service centers (ESCs) and district testing coordinators over the next eight months to gather input and ensure a seamless transition of vendor services and support. TEA will continue to ensure that state assessments remain valid, reliable sources of information to support strong instruction and inform teachers, administrators, parents, and the community to help improve academic achievement for all Texas students. If you have any questions, please submit them to TEA using the Student Assessment Help Desk.

Legislative Report: State of Texas Transition to Online Assessments Feasibility Study-December 2020

TEA Student Assessment Help Desk

Send Assessment questions to TEA directly through the Student Assessment Help Desk.

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. Web information, registration links, and recordings are also available in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources on the Training webpage.



For additional information on these topics, refer to the 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, STAAR3-8@ets.org, STAAREOC@ets.org, 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.

CALENDARS:

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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ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATES:

A-F Accountability:

New A-F Accountability Resources Available:

New resources have been posted on the Performance Reporting Resources page! Please view these documents and direct any questions to performance.reporting@tea.texas.gov.


2021 Accountability: The 2021 Academic Accountability System Overview contains up-to-date information on 2021 accountability and reporting.


College, Career, Military Readiness (CCMR) Data Sources: The CCMR Outcomes Bonus Data Sources document contains the data sources used to calculate CCMR Outcomes Bonuses.


Accountability Data Sources: For updated accountability data sources (without military) see the Academic Accountability Data Sources.

AskTED Accountability Listserv

Performance Reporting has a new accountability directors ListServ pulled from AskTED that we will utilize for future communications about Performance Reporting product releases! This ListServ was created to ensure that district and charter school accountability contacts as well as superintendents receive our notifications. Districts should view their AskTED Accountability contact by searching for the district or charter school here and reach out to their TED Administrator to add or remove any Accountability contacts. Please note, charter schools must contact CharterAskTed@tea.texas.gov to make changes to their AskTED pages.

2021 Accountability Data Reporting

Campuses and districts can expect the same data reporting as was released in 2019 except for scaled scores and letter grades, which will not be assigned. Data tables will be released both publicly on TXschools.gov and on Performance Reporting’s webpages. Unmasked data tables and confidential student listings will be released in TEA Login (TEAL) Accountability application.

Other 2021 accountability processes will still occur such as pairing, alternative education accountability registration, and campus comparison group assignment.

Graduation Rate Amendment Impact

Per the To the Administrator Addressed released January 7, 2021, the approval of the January 2020 amendment to the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan adjusted the Closing the Gaps graduation rate methodology. Examples of the new methodology follow.


Economically Disadvantaged Student Group

A campus’s economically disadvantaged graduation rate fell from 98.1% in 2019 to 97.8% in 2020. This student group meets the updated criteria as its graduation rate is still above the four-year long-term goal of 94.0% and shows an improvement over the economically disadvantaged Class of 2015 baseline rate of 86.0%.


Asian Student Group

A campus’s Asian graduation rate fell from 96.4% in 2019 to 94.8% in 2020. This student group does not meet the updated criteria. While its graduation rate is above the four-year long-term goal of 94.0%, it did not show an improvement over the Asian Class of 2015 baseline rate of 95.0%.

For more information, please see the graduation rate methodology flowchart and federal four-year graduation rate baselines in Appendix A here.

Local Accountability System

The Local Accountability Guide and Frequently Asked Questions provide information about plan requirement and example components. They can both be found on the local accountability webpage.


Districts wishing to learn more about the local accountability system and how to develop a district local accountability plan can participant in an hour-long overview webinar with time for Q & A.


Registration links are available for upcoming webinar dates in January and February. The webinar schedule through August 2021 is available here.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 2 pm

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 11 am

Friday, February 26, 2021 at 1 pm


Please contact the local accountability system team at LAS@tea.texas.gov for additional information or to set up a virtual meeting to discuss specifics related to your district.

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How will the agency process the English Language Proficiency (ELP) component of Closing the Gaps for 2021?

As part of the 2021 Accountability Manual rule adoption, TEA is proposing using the following methodology to evaluate ELP for 2021 reporting.


English Language Proficiency—Assessments Evaluated

The English Language Proficiency component evaluates the TELPAS and TELPAS Alternate results for grades K–12. Current year TELPAS and TELPAS Alternate results are compared to the prior year to determine if the students made progress. As the completion of TELPAS was optional in spring 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, if a 2020 composite rating is not available, the composite rating from 2019 is used. In order to be included in the denominator, a student must have either a current year Advanced High TELPAS or Basic Fluency TELPAS Alternate composite rating or a non-zero 2020 or 2019 TELPAS or TELPAS Alternate composite rating.

Composite ratings are not compared across TELPAS and TELPAS Alternate.


English Language Proficiency—Minimum Size Criteria and Small Numbers Analysis

  • The EL student group is evaluated if there are at least 25 current EL students.
  • Small numbers analysis is not used.


English Language Proficiency—Methodology

A student is considered having made progress if

  • the student advances by at least one score of the composite rating from the prior year to the current year, or
  • the student’s 2021 result is Advanced High or Basic Fluency.
  • for 2021, if the 2020 composite rating is available but does not show progress, the 2019 composite rating is compared to the 2021 composite rating.
  • the composite rating from 2020 is not available, the 2019 composite rating is compared to the 2021 composite rating.

What if an accelerated student does not SAT/ACT test by the end of their senior year?

If a grade 12 accelerated tester does not have an SAT/ACT test record, the district and campus will have this student included as a non-participant in participation calculations. However, TEA has requested to delay the implementation of the accelerated testers requirement by one year as part of its ESSA addendum. As a reminder, this requirement does not affect a student’s ability to graduate.


When will the accelerated testers listing for 2022 seniors be made available?

The preliminary list of 2022 accelerated testers will be made available fall 2021.


Do districts still need to report military data through PIEMS?

Yes. The PEIMS element is still required during the submission. As it cannot be left blank, if districts want to report Yes, they should follow the guidance issued here. We are working with the IT Division and TEA leadership to find the appropriate time to remove the PEIMS indicator.

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
Email:
STAAR3-8@ets.org
STAAREOC@ets.org


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

Phone: (800) 627-0225
Email: TxPearsonAccess@support.pearson.com

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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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