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 4. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

19 TAC §101.3041

The Texas Education Agency proposes an amendment to §101.3041, concerning implementation of the academic content areas testing program. The proposed amendment would establish a final set of performance standards to be implemented for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) Grades 3-8 and end-of-course (EOC) assessments beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

In 2015, the commissioner of education adopted a standard progression approach for STAAR® performance standards from the 2015-2016 school year through the 2021-2022 school year, increasing performance standards annually toward the final recommended Level II performance standard in the 2021-2022 school year.

Given the STAAR® performance results for 2012 through 2016, the commissioner has recommended that the current phase-in schedule be replaced with a final set of standards and labels to indicate four levels of student performance, as follows.

Did Not Meet Grade Level: This performance category applies to students scoring below Approaches Grade Level. This performance level indicates that students are unlikely to succeed in the next grade or course without significant, ongoing academic intervention. Students in this category do not demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the assessed knowledge and skills.

Approaches Grade Level: Performance at this level indicates that students are likely to succeed in the next grade or course with targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.

Meets Grade Level: Performance in this category indicates that students have a high likelihood of success in the next grade or course but may still need some short-term, targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts. For Algebra II and English III, this performance level indicates students are sufficiently prepared for postsecondary success.

Masters Grade Level: Performance at this level indicates that students are expected to succeed in the next grade or course with little or no academic intervention. Students in this category demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in varied contexts, both familiar and unfamiliar. For Algebra II and English III, this level of performance indicates students are well prepared for postsecondary success.

To implement the proposed performance standards, the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §101.3041 would modify Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(b)(1) and Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(c)(1) to replace the standard progression phase-in schedule with a final set of standards and labels to indicate student performance. The amendment would establish the 2015-2016 STAAR® passing standard as the minimum passing requirement (Approaches Grade Level) and set the current panel-recommended standard as the benchmark indicating a higher level of satisfactory achievement (Meets Grade Level). The Level III performance standard would be renamed "Masters Grade Level" to clearly indicate advanced grade-level performance on a STAAR® assessment and articulate the relationship between each of the performance levels.

For STAAR® EOC testing, since the standard in place when a student first takes an EOC assessment is the standard that is maintained throughout the student's school career, the 2012-2015 phase-in standard for the STAAR® EOC assessments would be maintained.

The proposed performance standards and labels would first be effective with the 2016-2017 school year.

The proposed amendment would have no procedural and reporting implications beyond those that apply to all Texas students.

The proposed amendment would have no new 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 implementing the final Level II STAAR® performance standard for all STAAR® Grades 3-8 and EOC assessments beginning with the 2016-2017 school year. 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 9, 2016, and ends January 9, 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 9, 2016.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.0241(a), which authorizes the commissioner to determine the level of performance considered to be satisfactory on the assessment instruments; and TEC, §39.025(a), which authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules requiring a student in the foundation high school program under TEC, §28.025, to be administered an end-of-course assessment instrument listed in TEC, §39.023(c), only for a course in which the student is enrolled and for which an end-of-course assessment instrument is administered. A student is required to achieve a scale score that indicates satisfactory performance, as determined by the commissioner under TEC, §39.0241(a), on each end-of-course assessment instrument administered to the student.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §39.0241(a) and §39.025(a).

§101.3041.Performance Standards.

(a) The commissioner of education shall determine the level of performance considered to be satisfactory on the assessment instruments. The figures in this section identify the performance standards established by the commissioner for state-developed assessments, as required by the Texas Education Code, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, for all grades, assessments, and subjects.

(b) The figures in this subsection identify the performance standards established by the commissioner for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) general and alternate assessments at Grades 3-8.

(1) The figure in this paragraph identifies the STAAR® general education performance standards at Grades 3-8.

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(b)(1) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(b)(1)]

(2) The figure in this paragraph identifies the STAAR® Alternate 2 performance standards at Grades 3-8.

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(b)(2) (No change.)

(c) For students first enrolled in Grade 9 or below in the 2011-2012 school year, the figures in this subsection identify the performance standards established by the commissioner for the STAAR® end-of-course (EOC) general and alternate assessments. The standard in place when a student first takes an EOC assessment is the standard that will be maintained on all EOC assessments throughout the student's high school career.

(1) The figure in this paragraph identifies the EOC general education assessment performance standards.

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(c)(1) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(c)(1)]

(2) The figure in this paragraph identifies the EOC alternate assessment performance standards.

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(c)(2) (No change.)

(d) For students who were first enrolled in Grade 9 prior to the 2011-2012 school year or enrolled in Grade 10 or above in the 2011-2012 school year, the figure in this subsection identifies the performance standards established by the commissioner for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exit level. The exit-level standard in place when a student enters Grade 10 is the standard that will be maintained throughout the student's high school career.

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3041(d) (No change.)

(e) The Texas Education Agency shall post annually to its website a 100-point score conversion table after the STAAR® assessment spring administrations. The 100-point scale is defined using percentiles, which represent the percentage of students across the state that took the assessment and received a scale score less than the scale score of interest. The percentile is based on the performance of students who took the paper, online, Braille, and L versions of the assessment during the spring administration of any given year.

(1) The following formula is used to calculate the percentile p(S) for a scale score S: p(S) = x/N x 100.

(2) In the formula in paragraph (1) of this subsection, N is the total number of students who took the tests, and x is the number of students with scale scores less than S. If the calculated percentile is not a whole number, then it is rounded down to the closest whole number.

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 November 28, 2016.

TRD-201606070

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: January 8, 2017

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