RtI eNews

October 30, 2015

TEA Update

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today notified school districts and charters that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will reduce the length of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) in grades 3–8 for the 2016 spring administrations.

“House Bill 743, which was passed by the Legislature earlier this year, requires STAAR assessments be designed so 85 percent of students can complete the grades 3–5 assessments in two hours and 85 percent of students can complete the grades 6–8 assessments in three hours,” said Commissioner Williams. “The steps I’m announcing for the coming school year are merely the first as TEA works to meet the legislative requirements while also balancing the validity and reliability of each assessment.”

To meet this legislative requirements of HB 743, TEA will take the following actions in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years:

  • For 2016 only, TEA will remove all currently-embedded field-test questions for STAAR grades 3–8, which will reduce the length of each assessment by five to eight questions.
  • TEA has also redesigned the 2016 STAAR grades 4 and 7 writing tests so they will be completed in one four-hour administration.
In addition, Commissioner Williams advised that TEA will also collect detailed data during the spring 2016 test administration on the time it takes students to complete the assessments. That data will then be used to determine how to adjust the STAAR grades 3–8 assessments for spring 2017 testing to more precisely meet the testing time requirements of HB 743.

To read Commissioner Williams’ letter to school districts, click here.
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Upcoming RD Interactive Opportunities

As part of our agreement with TEA, the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue will continue to offer a series of informal one-hour, follow-up teleconferences that will give you access to members of the training team as well as one another for coaching, collaborating and community-building. You can participate through Region 7’s TETN set-up.

The teleconferences currently scheduled are:

  • Thursday, November 19, 10:00 a.m., Event number 36853
  • Friday, December 4, 10:00 a.m., Event number 36854

If you would like to participate, please contact Dikisha Lewis, Behavior Specialist at Region 7 ESC, at 903-988-6970. The name of the program is RD Training Follow-up and the event numbers are listed above.

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TASA on iTunes U

TASA on iTunes U® is a library of digital resource collections, organized by course, that make it easier for teachers to include digital learning opportunities in their lessons. Each collection is a list of course-enhancing digital resources that teams of experienced teachers and content specialists have curated.

How to Access the Collections

  1. Use an iPad, iPhone, or other iOS device (if you are on a laptop or desktop computer, you will see only a preview version).
  2. Download the iTunes U App.
  3. Search for "Texas Association of School Administrators" within the iTunes U app or click here.
  4. Click the "See All" link to see a list of available resource collections (also visible at right on a laptop or desktop, but links access only preview versions).
  5. Select the resource collection you want to access.
  6. Click the "Subscribe" button then "Get Course" to download and access all the features of the the resource collection.

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