Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Participation of English Language Learners in State Assessments, Division 1, Assessments of English Language Proficiency and Academic Content for English Language Learners, §101.1005, Assessments of Achievement in Academic Content Areas and Courses
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Participation of English Language Learners in State Assessments, Division 1, Assessments of English Language Proficiency and Academic Content for English Language Learners, §101.1005, Assessments of Achievement in Academic Content Areas and Courses (PDF)
The rule action presented in this item was filed as proposed with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item proposes an amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Participation of English Language Learners in State Assessments, Division 1, Assessments of English Language Proficiency and Academic Content for English Language Learners, §101.1005, Assessments of Achievement in Academic Content Areas and Courses. The proposed amendment would specify that certain qualifying recent asylees and refugees, upon entering a Texas public school, may be exempted from a State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) assessment administration under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023(a), (b), and (l), beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.
TEC, §39.023 and §39.027.
EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE OF ADOPTION:
February 4, 2013.
PROPOSED EFFECTIVE DATE:
March 31, 2013.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Section 101.1005, Assessments of Achievement in Academic Content Areas and Courses, adopted by the commissioner of education effective December 22, 2011, addresses provisions relating to English language learner (ELL) assessment for the new STAAR program.
The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §101.1005 would add language to allow the exemption of certain qualifying ELL asylees and refugees from being administered a STAAR Grade 3-8 assessment beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. The commissioner's rulemaking authority for the proposed amendment in the TEC, §39.027(a) and (e), permits the commissioner to consider exempting ELLs from being administered an assessment under the TEC, §39.023, if they are an asylee or refugee with limited or no prior schooling. Because of federal testing requirements, the state can give no more than a one-year exemption, but it would include all testing for Grades 3-8 under the TEC, §39.023(a), (b), and (l).
To qualify for an exemption from Grades 3-8 STAAR testing, §101.1005 continues to specify that a Grade 3-8 ELL:
must be enrolled in a U.S. school as an asylee as defined by 45 Code of Federal Regulations §400.41 or a refugee as defined by 8 United States Code §1101;
has a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure record, or a successor document, issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that is stamped with "Asylee," "Refugee," or "Asylum"; and
as a result of inadequate schooling outside the United States, lacks the necessary foundation in the essential knowledge and skills of the curriculum prescribed under the TEC, §28.002, as determined by the language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC).
The proposed amendment to §101.1005 would establish that the exemption only applies during the school year an unschooled asylee or refugee is first enrolled in a U.S. public school. The exemption does not apply to the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) program.
At the high school level, §101.1007, Assessment Provisions for Graduation, already makes allowances for eligible ELLs related to the use of English I and II STAAR end-of-course (EOC) assessment scores in meeting high school graduation requirements. No changes for §101.1007 are included with this proposal. An ELL enrolled in an English I or II course, or an English for Speakers of Other Languages I or II course, who meets specific eligibility criteria related to time in U.S. schools and level of English language proficiency is not required to:
use the score on the applicable English I or II assessment as part of the cumulative score for graduation, or
retake the assessment if the student passes the course but fails to achieve the minimum score on the assessment.
To help guide future assessment and accountability policies for ELLs, as part of the upcoming spring TELPAS administration, districts will be required to submit additional information about ELLs with extenuating needs. ELLs with extenuating needs come to the United States with significant gaps in learning in addition to the challenges faced by ELLs in general. The special circumstances that cause ELLs to have extenuating needs may affect how long it takes to acquire English and academic skills and, therefore, how long these students might need substantial linguistic accommodations during instruction and testing and how long these students might warrant special consideration in accountability measures of instructional effectiveness.
At the state level, the data collection will be used to determine the number of ELLs in the state who have extenuating academic needs that may affect the time it takes to achieve Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance on STAAR assessments and the ability to reach progress expectations. Based on the findings of the spring 2013 TELPAS data collection, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will reexamine the asylee/refugee ELL exemption policy and determine whether the one-year exemption should be extended to other ELLs for future test administrations.
The TEA has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposed amendment. In addition, there is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses and microbusinesses; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.
PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The proposed amendment would outline certain ELL asylee/refugee assessment one-year exemptions from the STAAR assessment program.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The proposed amendment would have no procedural and reporting implications beyond those that apply to all Texas students with respect to the STAAR program.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The proposed amendment would have minimal, if any, effect on the paperwork required and maintained by the LPAC and/or admission, review, and dismissal committee in making assessment and accommodation decisions for ELLs.
The public comment period on the proposal begins January 4, 2013, and ends February 4, 2013.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on January 4, 2013.
Staff Members Responsible:
Criss Cloudt, Associate Commissioner, Assessment and Accountability
Gloria Zyskowski, Director, Student Assessment
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