TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 97. PLANNING AND ACCOUNTABILITY

SUBCHAPTER AA. ACCOUNTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING

19 TAC §97.1001

(Editor's note: In accordance with Texas Government Code, §2002.014, which permits the omission of material which is "cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient," the figure in 19 TAC §97.1001 is not included in the print version of the Texas Register. The figure is available in the on-line version of the April 14, 2017, issue of the Texas Register.)

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes an amendment to §97.1001, concerning accountability. The proposed amendment would adopt applicable excerpts of the 2017 Accountability Manual. Earlier versions of the manual will remain in effect with respect to the school years for which they were developed.

The TEA has adopted its academic accountability manual in rule since 2000. The accountability system evolves from year to year, so the criteria and standards for rating and acknowledging schools in the most current year differ to some degree over those applied in the prior year. The intention is to update 19 TAC §97.1001 annually to refer to the most recently published accountability manual.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §97.1001 would adopt excerpts of the 2017 Accountability Manual into rule as a figure. The excerpts, Chapters 2-9 of the 2017 Accountability Manual, specify the indicators, standards, and procedures used by the commissioner of education to determine accountability ratings for districts, campuses, and charter schools. These chapters also specify indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine distinction designations on additional indicators for Texas public school campuses and districts. The TEA will issue accountability ratings and distinction designations under the procedures specified in the 2017 Accountability Manual by August 15, 2017. Ratings and distinction designations may be revised as a result of investigative activities by the commissioner as authorized under Texas Education Code, §39.056 and §39.057.

In 2017, campuses and districts will be evaluated using a performance index framework. The framework includes four indices. These indices encompass performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) assessments for Grades 3-8 and end of course, longitudinal graduation rates, four-year Recommended High School Program/Distinguished Achievement Program (RHSP/DAP) graduation rate or four-year Foundation High School Program (FHSP) with endorsement/distinguished level of achievement graduation rate, and annual dropout rates. These indices incorporate the various criteria mandated by statute as set out in the description of statutory authority under which the manual is proposed. In 2017, the distinction designations system will award seven distinctions to eligible campuses that receive a Met Standard rating: Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading; Academic Achievement in Mathematics; Academic Achievement in Science; Academic Achievement in Social Studies; Top 25 Percent Student Progress; Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps; and Postsecondary Readiness. Districts will be eligible for a distinction designation for Postsecondary Readiness.

There are two substantive changes to the accountability system for 2017. First, STAAR® L, STAAR® A, and STAAR® Alternate 2 results will be included in all four indices. Second, the methodology for determining campus comparison groups will take into account the percentage of students identified as receiving special education services and the percentage of students enrolled in an Early College High School program.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §97.1001 would also include clarification that the statutory references in subsection (a) are as those sections existed on January 1, 2017, and minor technical changes such as date changes.

The proposed rule action would place the specific procedures contained in Chapters 2-9 of the 2017 Accountability Manual for annually rating school districts and campuses in the Texas Administrative Code. Applicable procedures would be adopted each year as annual versions of the accountability manual are published.

The proposed amendment would have no locally maintained paperwork requirements.

FISCAL NOTE. Penny Schwinn, deputy commissioner for academics, has determined that for the first five-year period the amendment is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed amendment is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Schwinn has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendment is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendment will be continuing to inform the public of the existence of annual manuals specifying rating procedures for the public schools by including this rule in the Texas Administrative Code. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT AND REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND MICROBUSINESSES. 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.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The public comment period on the proposal begins April 14, 2017, and ends May 15, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. 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 April 14, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.052(a) and (b)(1)(A), which requires the commissioner to evaluate and consider the performance on achievement indicators described in TEC, §39.053(c), when determining the accreditation status of each school district and open-enrollment charter school; TEC, §39.053, which requires the commissioner to adopt a set of performance indicators related to the quality of learning and achievement in order to measure and evaluate school districts and campuses; TEC, §39.054, which requires the commissioner to adopt rules to evaluate school district and campus performance and to assign a performance rating; TEC, §12.104(b)(2)(L), which subjects open-enrollment charter schools to the rules adopted under public school accountability in Chapter 39; TEC, §39.0545, which requires each school district to evaluate and report to the agency its own performance and the performance of each of its campuses in community and student engagement; TEC, §29.081(e), which defines criteria for alternative education programs for students at risk of dropping out of school and subjects those campuses to the performance indicators and accountability standards adopted for alternative education programs; TEC, §39.0548, which requires the commissioner to designate campuses that meet specific criteria as dropout recovery schools and to use specific indicators to evaluate them; TEC, §39.055, which prohibits the use of assessment results and other performance indicators of students in a residential facility in state accountability; TEC, §39.151, which provides a process for a school district or an open-enrollment charter school to challenge an academic or financial accountability rating; TEC, §39.201, which requires the commissioner to award distinction designations to a campus or district for outstanding performance; TEC, §39.2011, which makes charter districts and campuses that earn a Met Standard rating eligible for distinction designations; and TEC, §39.202 and §39.203, which authorize the commissioner to establish criteria for distinction designations for campuses and districts.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §§39.052(a) and (b)(1)(A), 39.053, 39.054, 39.0545, 39.0548, 39.055, 39.151, 39.201, 39.2011, 39.202, 39.203, 29.081(e), and 12.104(b)(2)(L).

§97.1001.Accountability Rating System.

(a) The rating standards established by the commissioner of education under Texas Education Code (TEC), §§39.052(a) and (b)(1)(A); 39.053, 39.0535, 39.054, 39.0545, 39.0548, 39.055, 39.151, 39.201, 39.2011, 39.202, 39.203, 29.081(e), and 12.104(b)(2)(L), as those sections existed on January 1, 2017, shall be used to evaluate the performance of districts, campuses, and charter schools. The indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine ratings will be annually published in official Texas Education Agency publications. These publications will be widely disseminated and cover the following:

(1) indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine district ratings;

(2) indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine campus ratings;

(3) indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine distinction designations; and

(4) procedures for submitting a rating appeal.

(b) The procedures by which districts, campuses, and charter schools are rated and acknowledged for 2017 [2016 ] are based upon specific criteria and calculations, which are described in excerpted sections of the 2017 [2016] Accountability Manual provided in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC §97.1001(b) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §97.1001(b)]

(c) Ratings may be revised as a result of investigative activities by the commissioner as authorized under TEC, §39.056 and §39.057.

(d) The specific criteria and calculations used in the accountability manual are established annually by the commissioner of education and communicated to all school districts and charter schools.

(e) The specific criteria and calculations used in the annual accountability manual adopted for prior school years remain in effect for all purposes, including accountability, data standards, and audits, with respect to those school years.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 3, 2017.

TRD-201701367

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: May 14, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


CHAPTER 101. ASSESSMENT

SUBCHAPTER DD. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SUBSTITUTE ASSESSMENTS FOR GRADUATION

19 TAC §101.4002

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes an amendment to §101.4002, concerning state of Texas assessments of academic readiness end-of-course (EOC) substitute assessments. The proposed amendment would update required performance standards for the revised ACT and SAT suite of assessments in order to satisfy the state's EOC graduation requirements.

Section 101.4002, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness End-of-Course Substitute Assessments, specifies the assessments the commissioner of education recommends as substitute assessments that a student may use in place of a corresponding EOC assessment and establishes the cut scores needed for a student to use a substitute assessment for graduation purposes. The proposed amendment would update Figure: 19 TAC §101.4002(b) to reflect changes made to the ACT and SAT suite of assessments. These assessments include the ACT, the ACT-Aspire, the SAT, and the PSAT assessment instruments.

The proposed amendment would reorganize the figure into three separate charts: ACT Substitute Assessments; SAT Substitute Assessments; and Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Substitute Assessments. All previously approved substitute assessments, including the ACT administered June 2015 and before, the PSAT administered in 2014 and before, and the SAT administered January 2016 and before, and their corresponding cut scores would be maintained. AP, IB, and TSI assessments would also be unchanged.

The proposed amendment would include substitution of the revised ACT for the Algebra I, English I, and English II EOC assessments; the new ACT-Aspire 9 and 10 for the Algebra I EOC assessment; and the redesigned SAT suite of assessments (PSAT 9, PSAT 10, PSAT NMSQT, and the SAT) for the Algebra I, English I, and English II EOC assessments. Consistent with the initial adoption of and subsequent amendment to §101.4002, the proposed amendment would set each substitute cut score at the college-readiness benchmark of that assessment (ACT and SAT) or the grade-level benchmarks that indicate whether a student is on track for college and career readiness. In order to use a proposed English language arts substitute for the English I or English II EOC assessment, a student must achieve the score requirement on each listed component of that substitute test. The amendment would also clarify that a student may use the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and the ACT Reading/English tests as a substitute for either the English I or English II EOC assessment, but not both.

For the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) Biology assessment, the proposed amendment would include the ACT Science test as an allowed substitute assessment. To use ACT Science, a student would need to achieve the college-readiness benchmark on that test.

The following SAT subject tests would also be included as approved substitute assessments: Math Level 1 and Math Level 2 for the STAAR® Algebra I; Biology-Ecological and Biology-Molecular for STAAR® Biology; and U.S. History for STAAR® U.S. History.

The SAT subject tests do not have college-readiness benchmarks, and most colleges and universities in Texas do not use the SAT subject tests to offer college credit. Because of this, the TEA attempted to establish performance links between the SAT subject tests and the corresponding STAAR® EOC assessments, which proved challenging. The student samples available to TEA to establish links for student performance between the SAT subject tests and the STAAR® EOC assessments are strongly biased toward high-performing students who are likely to attend college. Additionally, most STAAR® EOC assessments are taken 2-3 years prior to an SAT subject test, the exception being U.S. history. Last, the sample sizes were small, affecting the agency's confidence in the performance link. After careful consideration, including the fact that SAT subject tests are typically taken in a student's 12th grade year, the proposed amendment would include the following cut scores: for Math Level 1 and Math Level 2--600; for Biology-Ecological and Biology-Molecular--500; and for U.S. History--500.

The proposed amendment would have no procedural and reporting implications beyond those that apply to all Texas students with respect to implementation of the STAAR® program.

The proposed amendment would necessitate that school districts track and verify additional results of substitute assessments used by students for graduation purposes.

FISCAL NOTE. Penny Schwinn, deputy commissioner for academics, has determined that for the first five-year period the amendment is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed amendment is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Schwinn has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendment is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendment will be allowing students the opportunity to substitute additional appropriate tests for a STAAR® EOC assessment for graduation purposes. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT AND REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND MICROBUSINESSES. 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.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The public comment period on the proposal begins April 14, 2017, and ends May 15, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. 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 April 14, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.025, which establishes the secondary-level performance required to receive a Texas high school diploma. Specifically, subsection (a) requires the commissioner of education to adopt rules requiring students to achieve satisfactory performance on each EOC assessment listed under TEC, §39.023(c), in order to receive a Texas high school diploma. Subsection (a-2) requires the commissioner to determine a method by which a student's score on certain national assessments may be used to satisfy the EOC assessment graduation requirements.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §39.025.

§101.4002.State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness End-of-Course Substitute Assessments.

(a) For purposes of this subchapter, "equivalent course" is defined as a course having sufficient content overlap with the essential knowledge and skills of a similar course in the same content area listed under §74.1(b)(1)-(4) of this title (relating to Essential Knowledge and Skills).

(b) Effective beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, in accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.025(a-1), (a-2), and (a-3), the commissioner of education adopts certain assessments as provided in the chart in this subsection as substitute assessments that a student may use in place of a corresponding end-of-course (EOC) assessment under the TEC, §39.023(c), to meet the student's assessment graduation requirements. An approved substitute assessment may be used in place of only one specific EOC assessment, except in those cases described by subsection (d)(1) of this section.

Figure: 19 TAC §101.4002(b) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §101.4002(b)]

(c) A student is eligible to use a substitute assessment as provided in the chart in subsection (b) of this section if:

(1) a student was administered an approved substitute assessment for an equivalent course in which the student was enrolled;

(2) a student received a satisfactory score on the substitute assessment as determined by the commissioner and provided in the chart in subsection (b) of this section; and

(3) a student using a Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment also meets the requirements of subsection (d) of this section.

(d) Effective beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, a student must meet criteria established in this subsection in order to qualify to use TSI as a substitute assessment.

(1) A student must have been enrolled in a college preparatory course for English language arts (PEIMS code CP110100) or mathematics (PEIMS code CP111200) and, in accordance with the TEC, §39.025(a-1), have been administered an appropriate TSI assessment at the end of that course.

(A) A student under this paragraph who meets all TSI English language arts score requirements provided in the chart in subsection (b) of this section satisfies both the English I and English II EOC assessment graduation requirements.

(B) A student under this paragraph may satisfy an assessment graduation requirement in such a manner regardless of previous performance on an Algebra I, English I, or English II EOC assessment.

(2) In accordance with the TEC, §39.025(a-3), a student who did not meet satisfactory performance on the Algebra I or English II EOC assessment after retaking the assessment may use the corresponding TSI assessment in place of that EOC assessment.

(A) For a student under this paragraph who took separate reading and writing assessments for the English II EOC assessment and who did not meet the English II assessment graduation requirement using those tests as specified in §101.3022(b) of this title (relating to Assessment Requirements for Graduation), the separate TSI reading or writing assessment may not be used to substitute for the corresponding English II reading or writing EOC assessment.

(B) The provisions of this paragraph expire September 1, 2017. A student may meet the assessment graduation requirements under this paragraph using [the] TSI if the student has met the necessary score requirements as specified in [the chart in] subsection (b) of this section prior to September 1, 2017.

(e) A student electing to substitute an assessment for graduation purposes must still take the corresponding EOC assessment required under the TEC, §39.023(c), unless the student met the requirements specified in subsection (c) of this section.

(f) A student who fails to perform satisfactorily on the PSAT or the ACT-PLAN as indicated in the chart in subsection (b) of this section must take the appropriate end-of-course assessment required under the TEC, §39.023(c), to meet the assessment graduation requirements for that subject.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 3, 2017.

TRD-201701368

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: May 14, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497