Assessment & Accountability Updates

as of July 29, 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

Assessment Updates:

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Online Testing Window EXTENDED for 2020-2021

The online testing window is extended for both STAAR 3–8 assessments and STAAR end-of-course (EOC) assessments:

  • two weeks for the December 2020 STAAR EOC assessments (December 8–18),
  • five weeks for the April 2021 STAAR grades 3–8 and EOC assessments (April 6–May 7),
  • five weeks for the May 2021 STAAR EOC assessments (May 4–June 4),
  • five weeks for the May 2021 STAAR grades 3–8 assessments (May 11–June 11), and
  • two weeks for the June 2021 STAAR grades 3–8 and EOC assessments (June 22–July 2).

Waiver of the SSI Promotion Requirements

In light of past and anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commissioner of education is exercising his authority under Texas Education Code (TEC), Section 7.056, to waive the requirements of TEC, Section 28.0211 regarding grade promotion requirements for students in fifth and eighth grade for the 2020–2021 school year.

School districts and open-enrollment charter schools are not required to apply for a waiver of these SSI requirements.

Students enrolled in grades 5 and 8 are still required to take the appropriate State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) tests once. Regardless of their score, retest opportunities will not be provided. Districts will have local discretion on whether these students should advance to the next grade, just like students in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7. These decisions should be based on local criteria that reflect a student’s academic achievement and mastery of subject matter, and should include STAAR assessment results, along with other relevant information. Districts are still responsible for providing accelerated instruction and supports for students that fail to perform satisfactorily on STAAR. Furthermore, although students in grades 5 and 8 will not be retained solely on the basis of STAAR results, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools will remain accountable for student performance.

As a part of this waiver, there will only be one administration of the STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020–2021 school year. This administration will be in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR grades 3–8 assessments. The 2020–2021 testing calendar has been updated to reflect these changes and is available at Testing Calendar.

BOY Optional Assessments

Assessments are a valuable tool to monitor student progress and measure student understanding of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). As a result of COVID-19 and the cancellation of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) for the 2019–2020 school year, optional beginning-of-year (BOY) assessments will be offered to school districts and parents to help indicate student understanding of the TEKS from the previous school year. The data will help educators develop appropriate instructional plans this fall to address any gaps in student learning resulting from the previous school year’s disruption of classroom instruction and from the summer break.

The BOY assessments have been built using released STAAR test questions. While the optional BOY assessments will be administered in early fall 2020, they are, as noted above, designed to diagnose understanding of the TEKS from the previous school year. Therefore, the BOY assessments should be administered to students in grades 4–12, based on their prior year enrolled grade level or course. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will not use data from the BOY assessments for any accountability purposes. Data will only be used to determine the educational impact of the current crisis and to spread best practices.

BOY Assessment Resources & Tools:

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TSNAP New Testing Coordinator Academy

2020 New Coordinator Academy

September 10 & 11, 2020

FREE Virtual Academy

  • For District Testing Coordinators with 2 years or less experience
  • Participants will learn the basics of how to manage the state assessment program. Topics will include the calendar, test security, online testing, designated supports, test administration, shipping, planning and much more.

Register here!

Additional Assessment Resources:

Accountability Updates:

No Decisions For Now

No formal changes will be made to the current Accountability System until the end of the calendar year per Commissioner Morath. There are too many unknowns regarding the reopening of schools to make decisions now. TEA, ATAC and APAC are working through various scenarios to make the best decisions regarding Accountability for 2020-2021.

2019-2020 Accountability Ratings

TEA is issuing the label to all districts and campuses: Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster for the 2019-2020 school year.

Under the Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster rating, districts and campuses shall continue to implement any previously ordered sanctions and interventions. This rating does not break the chain of consecutive years of unacceptable ratings for purposes of accountability interventions and sanctions. As a result, ordered sanctions and interventions carried out by districts and/or campuses in school year 2019-2020 will carry over and continue for school year 2020-2021.

2020 Accountability Quicklook from Lead4Ward

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Additional Accountability Resources:

Contact Information:

Jessica Hassell, M.Ed.

Assessment, Accountability & School Improvement Specialist

Regional Testing Coordinator

Region 6 Education Service Center

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