Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter DD, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Alternative Exit-Level Assessments
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter DD, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Alternative Exit-Level Assessments (including Figure: 19 TAC §101.4002(a)) (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 revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter DD, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Alternative Exit-Level Assessments. The proposed revisions would allow the use of certain substitute tests in place of corresponding State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course (EOC) assessments for graduation purposes.
Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023(c) and §39.025(a), (a-1), and (f).
EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE OF ADOPTION:
February 4, 2013.
PROPOSED EFFECTIVE DATE:
March 31, 2013.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
The proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Assessment, Subchapter DD, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Alternative Exit-Level Assessments, would reflect changes made to the state assessment program as a result of the implementation of the STAAR program. The TEC, §39.025(a-1), tasks the agency to determine a method by which a student's satisfactory performance on an advanced placement (AP) test, international baccalaureate (IB) examination, SAT® Subject Test, or another assessment instrument determined by the commissioner to be at least as rigorous as a STAAR EOC assessment may be used as a factor in determining whether the student satisfies the assessment graduation requirements, including the cumulative score. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is currently in the process of developing formal procedures for empirically establishing STAAR-to-substitute links. Based on typical course-taking patterns of Texas students, the most informative data can be collected and analyzed and all appropriate substitute cuts can be established for implementation in the 2015-2016 school year.
Until the full implementation of commissioner-approved substitute assessments in the 2015-2016 school year and in response to a petition for adoption of a rule submitted on August 30, 2012, the TEA proposes to establish an interim rule that would allow Texas students subject to STAAR assessment graduation requirements to substitute certain comparable tests for corresponding STAAR EOC assessments. This rule would be effective for the 2012-2013 school year through the 2014-2015 school year. The interim rule would use agency-designated cut scores for those approved substitutes.
Specifically, the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 101, Subchapter DD, would address substitute assessments as follows.
The proposed amendment to §101.4001, Testing Requirements for Graduation, would specify the appropriate Texas Administrative Code citation that outlines student assessment graduation requirements. In addition, provisions relating to approved alternative exit-level assessments for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) exit-level assessments would be moved to §101.4003. Language relating to school district responsibility for verifying results on substitute assessments would be moved to §101.4005.
Proposed new §101.4002, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness End-of-Course Substitute Assessments, would adopt in rule as Figure: 19 TAC §101.4002(a) a chart specifying assessments approved by the commissioner of education as substitute assessments that a student may use in place of a corresponding EOC assessment effective for the 2012-2013 through 2014-2015 school years. The chart would also establish the cut scores needed for a student to use a substitute assessment for graduation purposes. The proposed interim substitute assessment cut scores will not change over time in alignment with STAAR EOC phase-in periods; students will simply need to score high enough on a substitute assessment as determined by the TEA.
The proposed substitutes are limited to those tests where a link with respect to assessed content and academic rigor between a STAAR EOC assessment and a substitute test could be established. For the AP and IB substitutes, it was determined that the assessed curriculum content and skills were similar to the STAAR EOC assessments. Further, the assessed content, skills, and items on all the external tests were determined to be at least as rigorous as those on the STAAR EOC assessments.
For the AP and IB substitute test options, whenever feasible, the TEA established cut scores on the substitute assessments by examining scores colleges and universities in Texas typically require for students seeking credit for college coursework.
For the SAT® and ACT® proposed substitutes, using data from STAAR EOC validity studies, cut scores were established as the scale scores on various alternative assessments associated with Level II performance on the relevant STAAR EOC assessment. These cut scores were determined under final recommended standards rather than phase-in standards. To ensure substitute assessment cut scores are at least as rigorous as STAAR EOC Level II performance standards, interim substitute assessment cut scores are the alternative assessment scale scores associated with typical Level II STAAR EOC performance.
Single-group data are not yet available to inform Preliminary SAT® (PSAT) and ACT® PLAN substitute cuts, so these cuts were derived using the SAT® and ACT® scores associated with typical STAAR EOC Level II performance. Specifically, the TEA established substitute cut scores at the PSAT and PLAN score points that are equivalent to associated SAT® and ACT® substitute cut scores, in standard deviation units.
Proposed new §101.4002 would require that for a student to be eligible to use a substitute assessment in lieu of a corresponding STAAR EOC assessment for graduation purposes, the student must be administered an approved substitute assessment for a course in which the student was enrolled and the student must receive a satisfactory score on the substitute assessment.
Proposed new §101.4002 would also specify the following:
- if a student elects to substitute an assessment for a corresponding EOC assessment, the substitute assessment will not be included in the student's cumulative score calculation;
- since links between STAAR EOC Level III performance and specific scores on equivalent substitute assessments cannot be established at this time, a student cannot use a substitute assessment in place of the Algebra II EOC assessment or the English III EOC assessment to meet the distinguished high school program graduation assessment requirements; and
- in order to collect the most informed data for full implementation of a substitute assessment rule in the 2015-2016 school year and for reasons of state and federal accountability, a student electing to use a substitute assessment for graduation purposes must still take the corresponding STAAR EOC assessment.
The proposed amendment to §101.4003, Determining Eligibility, would add provisions from §101.4001 specifying the alternative assessment score criteria for those students using the TAKS exit-level assessments to meet their graduation requirements. The section title would be changed to "Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Exit-Level Alternative Assessments."
The proposed amendment to §101.4005, Verification of Results, would address provisions outlining student and district responsibility related to verifying results on substitute assessments and the issuance of a diploma.
In addition, the subchapter title would be changed to "Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation."
The TEA has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposed rule actions. 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 revisions would allow certain students the opportunity to substitute an appropriate test for a STAAR EOC assessment for graduation purposes.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The proposed rule actions would have no procedural and reporting implications beyond those that apply to all Texas students with respect to implementation of the STAAR program.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The proposed rule actions would necessitate that school districts track and verify results of substitute assessments used by students for graduation purposes.
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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