The Testing Coordinator Connection

September 2021

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Preliminary Calendar of Events


A preliminary Calendar of Events (CoE) has been posted here. We are still pending a few dates (OoD/OoS and reporting), but they should be populated soon. We’ll let you know when the document is updated.

Required DTC Training - UPDATE

  • Mark your calendars for October 12th or 13th for the required DTC training.


To better accommodate a variety of schedules and needs, we will offer one F2F training at the ESC and one virtual training. At this time, it is anticipated to be a full-day training with a break for lunch. You will only need to attend one of these days. I ask that you limit attendance to you and 2 others from your district. Please note: Attendance at this training by a CTC does NOT take the place of the CTC training that you must provide.


TSNAP New DTC Academy

This Academy is designed for District Test Coordinators with 2 years or less experience. Participants will learn the basics of how to manage the state assessment program. Topics presented during the training will include: the calendar, test security, materials management, online testing, inventory, shipping, planning and much more.

Online registration is available until August 13, 2021.


  • When: Sept.15 - 16, 2021
  • September 15, 8am to 4 pm & September 16, 8 am to noon


  • Where: Embassy Suites
  • 5615 Landmark Parkway
  • San Antonio, Texas 78249

LEA Selection and Requirements

Lists of campus assignments for each LEA selected to participate in this mandatory field test are posted in Cambium’s Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) in the district testing coordinator’s inbox.


LEAs have the flexibility to administer the field test anytime during a two-week window

  • February 7–18, 2022.


LEAs should schedule approximately 2½ hours for the administration of each online field test.

  • Field tests for math, science, and social studies each include 30 test questions. Field tests for reading (English and Spanish) have a range of test questions from 22 to 39. Within a specific grade/subject or course, online field-test forms may vary in the type of test questions (e.g., multipart, multiselect, drag and drop, hot text, short constructed response, and extended constructed response).


No paper test booklets, answer documents, or other materials will be sent to LEAs. In addition, LEAs will not receive any field-test data or students’ scores from this administration.

  • TEA will provide more specific details in the test administration instructions in January 2022.

Student Eligibility Requirements

All eligible students who are scheduled to take the associated STAAR assessment are required to participate in the field test. English learners and students with disabilities should participate in the field test, unless a student requires an accommodation that is not available in the online field test. Braille, refreshable Braille, and American sign language videos are not available for the field test. Documentation about participation in the field-test administration is not required in a student’s paperwork.

  • For grades 3–8, eligibility includes those students who are enrolled in the grade and receiving on-grade-level instruction for the grade and subject assigned to be field-tested.
  • For grades 3–8, eligibility includes those students who are receiving above-grade-level instructions for the grade and subject assigned to be field-tested, regardless of their enrolled grade.
  • For end-of-course (EOC) assessments, eligibility includes those students who enrolled in and completing the assigned course during the 2021–2022 school year, regardless of their enrolled grade.


Requirements for Spanish Stand-Alone Field Test

Due to the limited number of students who take Spanish assessments, the Spanish reading field test will be a census field test. ALL LEAs that have students who will take the STAAR Spanish reading tests in spring 2022 will be required to administer the Spanish reading field test in grades 3, 4, and 5.


To limit testing, students who take the Spanish reading field test in grade 3, 4, or 5 are not required to take English versions of the field test. To provide additional clarification, assignments for each LEA are being updated to include Spanish field-test information.


Below are some example scenarios to help clarify the Spanish census field-test requirements.

  • Example I: Campus A is selected for the English version of the grade 4 math field test. Student 1 is scheduled to take the English version of the STAAR grade 4 math test and the Spanish version of the STAAR grade 4 reading test. Student 1 does not have to participate in the English version of the grade 4 math field test but is required to participate in the Spanish version of the grade 4 reading field test.
  • Example II: Campus B is not selected for the English version of the field test. Campus B has students who take reading tests in Spanish. Campus B must administer the Spanish version of the reading field test to all eligible students in grades 3, 4, and 5.
  • Example III: Campus C is excluded from the selection for the English version of the field test based on the exclusion criteria below. Campus C has students who take reading tests in Spanish. Campus C must administer the Spanish version of the reading field test to all eligible students in grades 3, 4, and 5.


Requirements for English Stand-Alone Field Test

For the English version of the stand-alone field test, the campus sampling selection has been limited to a single grade/subject or course per campus to limit the burden to students and campuses. The sampling plan for the English version of the field test excludes the following types of campuses.

  • Campuses selected to administer the National Assessment of Educational Progress during the 2021–22 school year
  • Campuses selected to administer the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study during the 2021–22 school year
  • Campuses with an F rating for the 2018–19 accountability year
  • Campuses identified as Alternate, Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, or Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program


TEA recognizes the challenges LEAs face when they are selected to participate in mandatory state testing activities. Your continued support of these critical activities contributes to the state’s ability to build high-quality assessments and is greatly appreciated.

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New Texas Assessment Program Vendor Information

As announced in fall 2020, the Texas assessment program will transition to a new vendor team—Cambium Assessment, Inc. and NCS Pearson, Inc.—starting on September 1, 2021.

All assessments included in the Texas Assessment Program are now hosted on Cambium’s assessment system, including optional assessments. On July 31, 2021, registration opened for Cambium’s assessment system, and testing coordinators may register students using Cambium’s Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). Once registered, districts and their campuses will have access to all assessment programs, including optional assessments. Access may be granted to teachers by assigning users a Teacher Role.


If you have questions about accessing Cambium’s systems or need technical assistance, call Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821.

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TEA is providing optional online BOY assessments for the 2021–2022 school year. BOY assessments can help schools gauge students’ understanding of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), as they begin the school year. BOY assessments have been built using released STAAR test questions that measure the TEKS. While the optional BOY assessments will be administered in early fall 2021, they are designed to diagnose students’ understanding of the TEKS from the previous school year. Therefore, the grade level of each student’s BOY assessment should be aligned to a student’s grade level from the previous school year. TEA will not use data from the BOY assessments for any accountability purposes.


BOY Assessments Key Dates & Resources

July 22, 2021


July 30, 2021

  • BOY Assessment Overview training posted on Learning Management System (LMS)


August 16, 2021

  • BOY assessment window opens
The test administration window for the BOY assessments is August 16–October 15, 2021. Refer to the Optional Beginning-of-Year Assessments webpage for more information and resources, including the following:


August 25, 2021

  • Student results, including the confidential campus rosters, district and campus summary reports, and student data files, are available in the Centralized Reporting System (CRS). Refer to the CRS User Guide (for Interims and BOY Assessments) for information on how to view results.


September 10, 2021

  • Centralized Reporting System webinar recording posted on LMS


October 8, 2021

  • Student registration for the optional BOY assessments is available through the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) until October 8, 2021. Refer to the TIDE User Guide for information on how to register students and submit test attribute information in TIDE.


October 15, 2021

  • BOY assessment window closes
TEA continues to offer optional online interim assessments that align with the TEKS. Test questions for the STAAR Interim Assessments have undergone field-testing and are developed with Texas teachers. The interim assessments are a tool that provides actionable data to help educators monitor progress and predict student performance on the STAAR summative assessments. The interim assessments are free, untimed, not part of the accountability system, and available to Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.


Interim Key Dates & Resources

August 18, 2021


August 20, 2021

  • STAAR Interim Assessments Overview training posted on LMS


September 7, 2021

  • Window 1 opens—mathematics and reading/language arts titles.

The following resources are available to support STAAR Interim Assessment users on the STAAR Interim Assessments webpage:


September 7, 2021


September 10, 2021

  • Centralized Reporting System webinar recording posted on LMS


September 17, 2021

  • Educator Training Module posted on LMS


November 8, 2021

  • Window 2 opens—science and social studies titles


December 17, 2021

  • Window 1 closes


January 10, 2022

  • Window 3 opens—mathematics and reading/language arts titles


April 15, 2022

  • Windows 2 and 3 close

Texas Formative Assessment Resource (TFAR)

TFAR is a free platform that allows teachers to create, administer, analyze, and share formative assessments. It is a resource educators can use to supplement existing classroom formative practices to inform teaching decisions and improve instructional supports. TFAR is not tied to accountability and is available at no cost to Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. TFAR consists of a TEKS-aligned item bank, item-creator, test-builder, and data reports. Items created by TFAR users during the 2020–2021 school year will be integrated into the new system, and additional items will be added to TFAR’s item bank over time. TFAR should be used within a coherent instructional framework to support formative assessment practices.


TFAR Key Dates & Resources

September 3, 2021

  • TFAR Authoring Modules posted on LMS


September 15, 2021

  • TFAR goes live


Mid-September 2021

  • TFAR Educator Guide posted on TFAR webpage


October 1, 2021

  • Educator Training Module posted on LMS
Texas Assessment Learning Management System

Registration links for the applicable trainings will be posted in the new Learning Management System (LMS).

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Recorded Webinars

The following recorded training webinars are available in the Learning Management System (LMS). In addition to the recording, the original PowerPoint presentation, presenter’s notes, and the questions and answers from the live webinars are available.

  • Texas Learning Management System (LMS) Overview

  • District Testing Coordinator Overview

  • Campus Testing Coordinator Overview

  • Beginning-of-Year Assessments Overview

  • STAAR Interim Assessments Overview


Upcoming Training Presentations

The following training presentations will be posted to the LMS in September. Users can access the training on the date indicated and will receive continuing professional education (CPE) credit hours for completion.

  • Introduction to the Centralized Reporting System webinar (September 10)

  • Cambium Teacher Authoring System training (September 10)

  • Interim Assessment Educator Module (September 10)

  • Texas Formative Assessment Resource Educator Module (September 17)


For questions or assistance regarding the information, contact Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821, TexasTestingSupport@cambiumassessment.com, or via live chat at TexasAssessment.gov.

Accountability data tables and student listings were published in TEAL Accountability for approved district and ESC users. The data tables and student listings contain the data used to calculate raw scores in each of the three domains.





Information gleaned from the data helps pinpoint areas where students need accelerated learning opportunities. Similarly, participation data provides demographic information about who did and did not take the STAAR in light of COVID-19 learning conditions and should be considered in context when reviewing the results. While direct comparisons with STAAR data from previous years may not be appropriate because of varying participation rates and shifts in instructional settings due to COVID-19, the data provide an important temperature check that allows Texas districts to track and address student recovery in the short and long term.

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STAAR Scores throughout the state are down, especially in Math.
  • As a result of the learning disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students not meeting grade level increased from 2019 across all subject areas and grade levels, with English I and English II being the only exceptions.


The Texas Success Initiative assessment (TSIA) 2.0 diagnostic will be considered for College, Career, and Military Readiness in 2022. Initially the Performance Reporting weekly bulletin indicated that it would not be considered; the final decision to include it was driven by feedback from the field and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. For additional information about how the TSIA1 and TSIA2 will be included in 2022, click here.
DCCR

The District and Campus Coordinator Resources, a collection of webpages, is prepared for its initial publishing in the beginning of each school year. NOTE: The 2021-2022 DCCR will be released after the ESC training on September 30th.

Analytic Portal

This feature allows users to view, analyze, and download assessment summary reports. Users can disaggregate and filter data and download reports in a PDF or CSV format.

TEA Testing Calendar of Events

Preliminary online copy of the 2021-2022 Calendar of Events




Mary Caywood

Educational Consultant

(432) 567-3266

mary.janousek@esc.net