TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 101. ASSESSMENT

SUBCHAPTER CC. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACADEMIC CONTENT AREAS TESTING PROGRAM

DIVISION 3. SECURITY OF ASSESSMENTS, REQUIRED TEST ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES

19 TAC §101.3031

(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 §101.1031 is not included in the print version of the Texas Register. The figure is available in the on-line version of the December 30, 2016, issue of the Texas Register.)

The Texas Education Agency proposes an amendment to §101.3031, concerning student assessment. The section addresses required test administration procedures and training activities to ensure validity, reliability, and security of assessments. The proposed amendment would adopt the 2017 Test Security Supplement as part of the Texas Administrative Code. The earlier versions of the security supplement will remain in effect with respect to the year for which they were developed.

Through the adoption of 19 TAC §101.3031, effective March 26, 2012, the commissioner exercised rulemaking authority relating to the administration of assessment instruments adopted or developed under the Texas Education Code, §39.023, including procedures designed to ensure the security of the assessment instruments. The rule addresses purpose, administrative procedures, training activities, and records retention. As part of the administrative procedures, school districts and charter schools are required to comply with test security and confidentiality requirements delineated annually in test administration materials.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §101.3031, Required Test Administration Procedures and Training Activities to Ensure Validity, Reliability, and Security of Assessments, would update the rule by adopting the 2017 Test Security Supplement as Figure: 19 TAC §101.3031(b)(2). The 2017 Test Security Supplement describes the security procedures and guidelines that school districts and charter schools shall be required to follow to ensure the security and validity of the Texas assessment system.

Proposed within the 2017 Test Security Supplement is one substantive change for the administration of the 2017 assessments. The change relates to the requirement for testing personnel to cover or remove instructional displays during testing. To help clarify existing policy, the 2017 Test Security Supplement specifies that prior to the administration, test administrators should walk through each testing location to verify that the environment is appropriate for testing and no instructional displays are visible (e.g., process and cycle diagrams, definitions or examples of literary terms, test-taking strategies, how to write an essay, anchor charts, maps, word walls, timelines, posters identifying historical figures, etc.). On page 12, the supplement explains that campus coordinators need to be trained to examine the test environment before each test.

The security supplements adopted prior to the 2017 year will remain in effect with respect to a given year.

The proposed amendment would establish in rule the test security procedures outlined in the 2017 Test Security Supplement. Applicable procedures would be adopted each year as annual versions of the test security supplement are published.

The proposed amendment would have no additional effect on the paperwork required and maintained by school districts and charter schools.

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 informing the public of the security procedures for the 2017 test administrations. 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 December 30, 2016, and ends January 30, 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 December 30, 2016.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §26.010, which prohibits a student from being removed from a class or school by a parent in order to avoid a test and prohibits a student from being exempted from satisfying grade-level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to both the school district and the agency; TEC, §39.023(a), which requires school districts to administer the Grades 3-8 state-developed assessments to all eligible students; TEC, §39.025(a), which requires a student to pass each end-of-course assessment listed in TEC, §39.023(c), only for a course in which the student is enrolled and for which an end-of-course assessment is administered in order to receive a Texas diploma; TEC, §39.030(a), which requires school districts to ensure the security of the state's assessment instruments and student answer documents in their preparation and administration; TEC, §39.0301(a)(1), which requires the commissioner to establish procedures for the administration of the state's assessment instruments, including procedures designed to ensure the security of those assessments. Per TEC, §39.0301(a-1), the procedures the commissioner is required to establish must, to the extent possible, minimize disruptions to school operations and classroom environment. Additionally, TEC, §39.0301(a-1), stipulates that school districts must also minimize disruptions to school operations and the classroom environment when implementing the required assessment administration procedures; and TEC, §39.0304, which authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules to require training for school district employees involved in the administration of the state's assessments. This training may include qualifying components to ensure the school district personnel involved in an administration of the state's assessments possess the necessary knowledge and skills required to securely and reliably administer those assessments.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §§26.010; 39.023(a); 39.025(a); 39.030(a); 39.0301; and 39.0304.

§101.3031.Required Test Administration Procedures and Training Activities to Ensure Validity, Reliability, and Security of Assessments.

(a) Purpose. To ensure that each assessment instrument is reliable and valid and meets applicable federal requirements for measurement of student progress, the commissioner of education shall establish test administration procedures and required training activities that support the standardization and security of the test administration process.

(b) Test administration procedures. These test administration procedures shall be delineated in the test administration materials provided to school districts and charter schools annually. Districts and charter schools must comply with all of the applicable requirements specified in the test administration materials. Test administration materials shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) general testing program information;

(2) requirements for ensuring test security and confidentiality described in the 2017 [2016] Test Security Supplement provided in this paragraph;

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3031(b)(2) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §101.3031(b)(2)]

(3) procedures for test administration;

(4) responsibilities of personnel involved in test administration; and

(5) procedures for materials control.

(c) Training activities. As part of the test administration procedures, the commissioner shall require training activities to ensure that testing personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge required to administer assessment instruments in a valid, standardized, and secure manner. The commissioner may require evidence of successful completion of training activities. Test coordinators and administrators must receive all applicable training as required in the test administration materials.

(d) Records retention. As part of test administration procedures, the commissioner shall require school districts and charter schools to maintain records related to the security of assessment instruments for a minimum of five years.

(e) Applicability. The test administration procedures and required training activities established in the annual test security supplements for prior years remain in effect for all purposes with respect to the prior year to which it applies.

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 December 19, 2016.

TRD-201606664

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: January 29, 2017

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