Maintaining the security and confidentiality of the statewide student assessment program is crucial to ensuring valid test scores and for providing standard and equal testing opportunities for all students. Given the high stakes associated with student performance and the increasing complexity of the assessment program, test administration personnel face new challenges in managing the testing requirements.
In the efforts to continue to improve the integrity of the statewide student assessment program and maintain high confidence in the results of the program, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has taken a number of steps to enhance test security. One of these measures includes the assigning of independent test monitors to conduct onsite audits of test administrations in selected schools across the state.
The TEA Test Monitoring Program audits the administration of statewide assessments in schools selected under certain TEA criteria and authorities under the Texas Education Code (TEC) as follows:
- random sample of school or charter districts [TEC §39.0301(f)]
- special accreditation investigation for a potential violation of assessment instrument security [TEC §39.0301(e)]
- as directed by the state auditor [TEC §39.0301(g)]
- as part of an accreditation sanctions [TEC §39.102]
This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about general test administration.
As representatives of the TEA, Test Monitors conduct themselves according to the TEA standards and principles of customer and professional service.
The Test Monitoring Program establishes its pool of independent Test Monitors through the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. Through the RFQ process, qualified individuals will be identified to offer the professional services required by the Texas Education Agency. The recruitment of Test Monitors will be conducted periodically to meet program needs.
Test Monitor Training
The Test Monitoring Program strives to maintain qualified, trained, and well-prepared Test Monitors to conduct the onsite audits of test administration in our districts. As part of this effort, all Test Monitors must complete required training as a prerequisite to receiving an assignment. Web-based training modules, developed by the Student Assessment Division to improve security measures in the state’s testing program, is part of the Test Monitor’s training. Additional training may include observing and shadowing an experienced Test Monitor onsite.
Student Assessment Division Training Resources
Test Monitor and Criminal History Reviews
In providing these test monitoring services, the TEA certifies to the district that the criminal history information required by TEC §22.0834 is met for each Test Monitor.
Test Monitor Expenses
The acquisition of professional services under the provisions of TEC §39.0301 (f) for the purposes of monitoring or auditing the local administration of state assessments of the randomly selected districts will be paid by the TEA.
The acquisition of professional services under the provisions of TEC §39.1331 for the purpose of monitoring or auditing the local administration of state assessments of schools rated Academically Unacceptable for multiple years will be paid by the district in accordance with TEC §39.134.
Procedures followed in the independent onsite audits of the administration of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in public schools.
This manual explains the responsibilities of testing coordinators for the TAKS, TAKS (Accommodated), TAKS-Modified, and the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) assessments. The manual also explains coordinator responsibilities for Linguistically accommodated testing (LAT) administrations.
Includes information on reporting testing irregularities, disciplinary actions taken against students for cheating on a state assessment, as well as additional resources and reports.
List of districts and campuses rated Academically Unacceptable for one or more consecutive years.
Random Onsite Audit List
The identity of randomly selected schools remains confidential until all random onsite audits are finalized.
Includes past, current, and future testing calendars from the Student Assessment Division.
Requests for information regarding TEA audits of test administration and the Test Monitoring Program may be submitted to the TEA Public Information Office.