TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 151. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING PASSING STANDARDS FOR EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION

19 TAC §151.1001

The Texas Education Agency proposes new §151.1001, concerning passing standards for educator certification examinations. The proposed new section would implement the requirements of the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.048(a), for the commissioner to determine the satisfactory level of performance required for each certification examination.

House Bill (HB) 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, amended the TEC, §21.048(a), to require the commissioner of education to establish the satisfactory levels of performance required on educator certification examinations and require a satisfactory level of performance on each core subject covered by an examination. Before amendment by HB 2205, the passing standards were set by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

Proposed new 19 TAC §151.1001 would adopt the passing standards for all certification examinations as approved by the commissioner. Some of the passing standards previously set by the SBEC would be maintained, but others would be increased as follows.

Beginning September 1, 2017, passing standards would increase by 0.5 conditional standard error of measurement (CSEM) for the following Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES), which were previously approved by the SBEC 2.0 CSEM below the recommendation of the standard-setting committee convened prior to the approval of the current standards:

801 Core Subjects EC-6 English Language Arts and Reading and the Science of Teaching Reading

802 Core Subjects EC-6 Mathematics

803 Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies

804 Core Subjects EC-6 Science

805 Core Subjects EC-6 Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education

806 Core Subjects 4-8 English Language Arts and Reading

807 Core Subjects 4-8 Mathematics

808 Core Subjects 4-8 Social Studies

809 Core Subjects 4-8 Science

Beginning September 1, 2017, passing standards would increase by 0.5 CSEM for the following TExES, which were previously approved by the SBEC 1.0 CSEM below the recommendation of the standard-setting committee convened prior to the approval of the current standards:

115 Mathematics 4-8 TExES

116 Science 4-8 TExES

118 Social Studies 4-8 TExES

Beginning September 1, 2017, passing standards would increase by 1.0 CSEM for the following TExES, which were previously approved by the SBEC 1.0 CSEM below the recommendation of the standard-setting committee convened prior to the approval of the current standards:

114 Mathematics/Science 4-8 TExES

160 Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 TExES

161 Special Education EC-12 TExES

184 American Sign Language TExES

The following tests expire before the September 1, 2017, projected effective date of the proposed new section, so they are not included in the corresponding figures:

139 Technology Applications 8-12 TExES

141 Computer Science 8-12 TExES

142 Technology Applications EC-12 TExES

179 Dance 8-12 TExES

Proposed new 19 TAC §151.1001 would organize the passing standards into three subsections. Subsection (b) would include passing standards for classroom teacher examinations, subsection (c) would include passing standards for student services examinations, and subsection (d) would include passing standards for administrator examinations.

The average passing standard reflected in the proposed new section is expressed as an average raw cut score of all active forms of a test or the minimum proficiency level. It is critical to note that the actual raw cut scores may vary slightly from form to form to balance the overall difficulty of the test yet maintain consistency in scoring.

The proposed new section would have no procedural and reporting implications. The proposed new section would have no locally maintained paperwork requirements.

FISCAL NOTE. Ryan Franklin, associate commissioner for educator leadership and quality, has determined that for the first five-year period the new section is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government, including local school districts and open-enrollment charter schools, as a result of enforcing or administering the new section. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed new section is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Mr. Franklin has determined that for each year of the first five years the new section is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the new section will be providing clarity to educators and others regarding the required passing standards for Texas certification examinations. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed new section.

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 June 30, 2017, and ends July 31, 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 June 30, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The new section is proposed under the Texas Education Code, §21.048(a), which requires the commissioner of education to determine the level of performance considered to be satisfactory on educator certification examinations and further authorizes the commissioner to require a satisfactory level of performance on each core subject covered by an examination.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The new section implements the Texas Education Code, §21.048(a).

§151.1001.Passing Standards.

(a) As required by the Texas Education Code, §21.048(a), the commissioner of education shall determine the satisfactory level of performance for each educator certification examination and require a satisfactory level of performance on each core subject covered by an examination. The figures in this section identify the passing standards established by the commissioner for educator certification examinations.

(b) The figures in this subsection identify the passing standards established by the commissioner for classroom teacher examinations.

(1) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for early childhood through Grade 6 examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(1) (.pdf)

(2) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for Grades 4-8 examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(2) (.pdf)

(3) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for secondary mathematics and science examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(3) (.pdf)

(4) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for secondary English language arts and social studies examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(4) (.pdf)

(5) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for speech and journalism examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(5) (.pdf)

(6) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for fine arts examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(6) (.pdf)

(7) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for health and physical education examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(7) (.pdf)

(8) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for computer science and technology applications examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(8) (.pdf)

(9) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for career and technical education examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(9) (.pdf)

(10) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for bilingual examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(10) (.pdf)

(11) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for languages other than English (LOTE) examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(11) (.pdf)

(12) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for special education examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(12) (.pdf)

(13) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for supplemental examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(13) (.pdf)

(14) The figure in this paragraph identifies the passing standards for pedagogy and professional responsibilities examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(14) (.pdf)

(c) The figure in this subsection identifies the passing standards established by the commissioner for student services examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(c) (.pdf)

(d) The figure in this subsection identifies the passing standards established by the commissioner for administrator examinations.

Figure: 19 TAC §151.1001(d) (.pdf)

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 June 19, 2017.

TRD-201702366

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 30, 2017

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


PART 7. STATE BOARD FOR EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION

CHAPTER 230. PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND CERTIFICATION

SUBCHAPTER B. GENERAL CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

19 TAC §230.11

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) proposes an amendment to §230.11, concerning general certification requirements. The proposed amendment would specify the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) and the minimum scaled scores required for each section of the test to demonstrate English language proficiency for a candidate whose degree was earned outside the United States. The proposed amendment would also remove the provision that would allow an applicant who earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution of higher education (IHE) outside of the United States, including territories of the United States, to provide evidence that the primary language of instruction at the IHE was English.

Under SBEC rule 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5), any applicant for a Texas educator certificate must "be able to communicate, listen, read, write, and comprehend the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in daily communication and teaching." For a candidate who earned his or her degree(s) outside of the United States at an institution of higher education where the primary language of instruction is not English, the candidate must achieve a satisfactory score on an English language proficiency examination approved by the SBEC to satisfy this requirement.

Previously, the requirement under 19 TAC §230.413 focused on an applicant's ability to "speak and understand the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in conversation and teaching." Therefore, testing focused only on assessing an individual's oral English proficiency. In May 2001, the SBEC approved a passing standard of 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) to meet this requirement. When TOEFL iBT replaced the prior English proficiency test in 2006, the SBEC approved a passing standard of 26 on the speaking section only, which paralleled the requirements of the prior test. Even though candidates are held accountable for only the speaking section of the examination, they are assessed on all four sections of the TOEFL: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

The TOEFL iBT measures the ability of non-native English speakers to use and understand the English language as it is spoken, heard, read, and written in the university classroom. Each section of the test has specific tasks as follows:

Speaking: Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.

Listening: Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.

Reading: Read three or four passages from academic texts and answer questions.

Writing: Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

During the test, individuals are asked to perform tasks that combine more than one skill, such as read, listen, and then speak in response to a question; listen and then speak in response to a question; and read, listen, and then write in response to a question.

At the December 2016 SBEC meeting, the SBEC discussed the English language proficiency requirements in rule and the use of the TOEFL iBT to measure that proficiency. SBEC directed Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff to provide additional information on the TOEFL iBT, to gather stakeholder feedback, and to bring back recommendations to the SBEC. In particular, the SBEC directed staff to gather input from stakeholders on using all four sections of the TOEFL iBT in determining English language proficiency; cut score recommendations on each section and/or an overall score; and which candidates should be required to take the examination.

A stakeholder committee was convened via webinar on February 23, 2017, which consisted of participants nominated by SBEC members. The committee's feedback was shared with the SBEC at the March 3, 2017 SBEC meeting. While the committee was not unanimous in recommending that only a total score or that minimum section scores on all parts of the TOEFL iBT be used, the committee agreed that using only the speaking section did not provide an accurate picture of a candidate's English language proficiency and did not align with 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5), which specifies that an applicant for a Texas educator certificate must be able to communicate, listen, read, write, and comprehend the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in daily communication and teaching. The committee was unanimous in recommending that the next step would be to conduct a standard-setting study to determine the appropriate minimum scaled scores on the TOEFL iBT that a candidate must attain to demonstrate English language proficiency.

A standard-setting committee on the TOEFL iBT met on May 12-13, 2017. The committee consisted of some of the members of the February 23 stakeholder committee, along with additional experts in the field. The recommendation of the standard-setting committee was presented to the SBEC for consideration at its June 9, 2017 meeting.

Subchapter B, General Certification Requirements

The purpose of 19 TAC Chapter 230, Subchapter B, General Certification Requirements, is to outline general certification requirements applicable to all individuals regardless of route taken to obtain Texas certification.

Language in 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5) would be amended to clarify that minimum scaled scores on the TOEFL iBT would be used to satisfy English language proficiency requirements for a candidate who earned his or her degree outside the United States. These specific scaled score requirements would replace the current use of a score of at least 26 on only the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT. The proposed scaled scores would reflect the minimally acceptable English language proficiency skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing for an educator certificate applicant whose degree was earned outside the United States.

An applicant would be required to earn the minimum score in all four sections (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) because all these English language proficiency skills are needed for an educator to use English readily and easily in communication and teaching. An applicant would be allowed to retake the TOEFL iBT to cumulatively achieve the required minimum scores on all sections of the test (i.e., test results from prior administrations that meet one or more of the requirements would count and not have to be retaken).

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(C), relettered as §230.11(b)(5)(B), would reflect the minimum TOEFL iBT scaled scores of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing.

The proposed scaled scores would provide clarity to candidates and educator preparation programs on the required scores and would ensure that candidates demonstrate the English language proficiency skills needed to communicate, listen, read, write, and comprehend the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in daily communication and teaching as specified in rule.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(B) would remove the provision that would allow an applicant who earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at an IHE outside of the United States, including territories of the United States, to provide evidence that the primary language of instruction at the IHE was English. The proposed amendment would require that an applicant for a Texas educator certificate either complete an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited IHE in the United States or pass the TOEFL iBT. The proposed amendment is intended to ensure that all Texas educators are proficient in English.

The proposed amendment would have no additional procedural and reporting implications. The proposed amendment would have no additional locally maintained paperwork requirements.

FISCAL NOTE. Ryan Franklin, associate commissioner for educator leadership and quality, 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. Mr. Franklin 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 ensuring that educator certificate applicants demonstrate the level of English language proficiency needed to instruct and support all learners and to communicate effectively with parents, colleagues, and other stakeholders upon certification. There is an anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment. An individual who has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at an IHE outside of the United States will be required to take the TOEFL iBT at an estimated cost of $195 to demonstrate English language proficiency. The TEA estimates a total of 250 individuals would take the TOEFL iBT each year, resulting in an anticipated total cost of $48,750 per year for the first five years that the proposed amendment will be in effect.

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 June 30, 2017, and ends July 31, 2017. The SBEC will take registered oral and written comments on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §230.11 at the August 4, 2017 meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. All requests for a public hearing on the proposed amendment submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the Department of Educator Leadership and Quality, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701, Attention: Mr. Ryan Franklin, associate commissioner for educator leadership and quality, not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on June 30, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; §21.031, which authorizes the SBEC to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; and §21.041(b)(5), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to TEC, §21.052.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §§21.003(a), 21.031, and 21.041(b)(1), (4), and (5).

§230.11.General Requirements.

(a) The only credits and degrees acceptable for certification of educators are those earned from and conferred by accredited institutions of higher education. All credit hour requirements for certification are semester credit hours or their equivalent.

(b) An applicant for a Texas educator certificate must:

(1) be at least 18 years of age;

(2) submit to the criminal history review required by the Texas Education Code (TEC) §22.0831, not be disqualified by the TEC, §21.058, §21.060, or other Texas statute, and not be subject to administrative denial pursuant to §249.12 of this title (relating to Administrative Denial; Appeal) or a pending proceeding under Chapter 249 of this title (relating to Disciplinary Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases);

(3) not be disqualified by federal law;

(4) be willing to support and defend the constitutions of the United States and Texas;

(5) be able to communicate, listen, read, write, and comprehend the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in daily communication and teaching. English language proficiency shall be evidenced by one of the following:

(A) completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States; or

[(B) if an undergraduate or graduate degree was earned at an institution of higher education outside of the United States, including territories of the United States, evidence must be provided under procedures approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff that the primary language of instruction was English; or]

(B) [(C)] verification of minimum scaled [satisfactory] scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing [ an English language proficiency examination(s) approved by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)];

(6) successfully complete appropriate examinations prescribed in §230.21 of this title (relating to Educator Assessment) for the educator certificate sought; and

(7) satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

(A) complete the requirements for certification specified in this chapter, Chapter 233 of this title (relating to Categories of Classroom Teaching Certificates), Chapter 239 of this title (relating to Student Services Certificates), Chapter 241 of this title (relating to Principal Certificate), or Chapter 242 of this title (relating to Superintendent Certificate), and be recommended for certification by an approved educator preparation program;

(B) qualify under Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Texas Educator Certificates Based on Certification and College Credentials from Other States or Territories of the United States);

(C) qualify under §230.105 of this title (relating to Issuance of Additional Certificates Based on Examination);

(D) qualify for a career and technical education certificate based on skill and experience specified in §233.14 of this title (relating to Career and Technical Education (Certificates requiring experience and preparation in a skill area)); or

(E) qualify under Chapter 245 of this title (relating to Certification of Educators from Other Countries).

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 June 19, 2017.

TRD-201702365

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

State Board for Education Certification

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 30, 2017

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