The purpose of this communication is to inform you of the availability of accommodations on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) for students identified with disabilities. While STAAR is specifically designed to measure individual student progress in relation to grade- or course-appropriate student expectations that are directly tied to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is also committed to allowing schools to provide appropriate supports for these students so that they may demonstrate their best academic performance.
A number of accommodations are available to eligible students identified with dyslexia or other disabilities. Information about allowable testing accommodations for the 2013-2014 school year is located on the Student Assessment's Division's website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/accommodations/staar-telpas/. I encourage you to carefully review this information to determine which students in your district are eligible to receive accommodations on STAAR.
The committee that has decision-making authority for a student with dyslexia or other disabilities should review the eligibility criteria for allowable accommodations to determine if the student exhibits any of the characteristics listed. If it is determined that a student meets the eligibility criteria for a particular accommodation, it may be provided to the student on STAAR as long as he or she routinely, independently, and effectively uses this accommodation during classroom instruction and testing. Decisions about the use of accommodations must be made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee, the Section 504 committee, or, when the student does not receive special education or Section 504 services, the appropriate team of people at the campus level (e.g., the Response to Intervention [RtI] team or the student assistance team) based on the eligibility criteria for each accommodation.
I hope this information on accommodations will be helpful to your district in addressing the needs of your students on the state assessment. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536.