General | Testing and Accountability | Teachers | Administrators

Changes to the Texas Assessment Program for the 2015–2016 School Year

The Texas Education Agency posted an update on September 4, 2015 regarding changes to the Texas Assessment Program for the 2105-2016 school year. This will also be a topic at our Curriculum Council meeting on September 10, 2015 (FA1531634).

Contractors for State Assessment

  • Educational Testing Service (ETS) – Program Integration and State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®)
  • Pearson – STAAR Alternate 2, Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), and Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)

STAAR 3-8 Mathematics

  • Updated reports for grades 3–8 were provided
  • Hard copies of the Confidential Student Reports (CSRs) and Confidential Student Labels will be sent to school districts by September 10, 2015
  • Student Success Initiative (SSI) grade-advancement requirements are being reinstituted for mathematics in the 2015–2016


  • required for: grade 8 mathematics, Algebra I, Algebra II, and biology
  • handheld calculator or a calculator application available on a tablet

Legislative Changes

  • In August 2015, final assessment rules relating to the IGC provisions were filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner’s rulemaking authority
  • House Bill 743 requires that STAAR assessments be designed so that 85% of students can complete the grades 3–5 assessments in two hours and 85% of students can complete the grades 6–8 assessments in three hours.
    • During the 2015–2016 school year, TEA will redesign the STAAR grades 4 and 7 writing tests so they will be completed in one four-hour administration.
    • TEA will gather data during the spring 2016 administrations to determine how to adjust the remaining grades 3–8 assessments to meet the testing time requirements of HB 743.
  • House Bill 2349 requires a school district or charter school that administers a STAAR test to report to the agency whether an assessed student transferred into the school or district from out of state during the current school year.
    • Procedures  will be communicated to the field in the appropriate test administration materials.
  • House Bill 2349 states that a student who earned high school credit for a course for which there is an EOC assessment prior to enrollment in a Texas public school and the credit has been accepted by a Texas public school or who had completed a course for high school credit in a course for which there is an EOC assessment prior to the 2011–2012 spring administration, is not required to take that EOC in order to receive a Texas diploma.

STAAR Algebra II and STAAR English III

  • In May 2016, STAAR Algebra II and English III assessments will be available for districts to administer on an optional basis as postsecondary readiness measures.

2016 STAAR Release Plan

  • In August 2016, TEA will release the primary form of all 2016 STAAR general assessments, including braille versions of the assessments, as well as STAAR Spanish, STAAR L, STAAR A, and STAAR Alternate 2.

TELPAS Holistic Rating Training

TELPAS holistic rating training will include changes for the 2015–2016 school year. Key changes beginning in January 2016 include the following:

•    online training courses and calibrations will be available at a new website that will allow for a more streamlined training experience
•    calibration must be completed in a monitored setting
•    the number of opportunities to calibrate will be reduced from three sets to two sets
•    supplemental support provider training requirements will be eliminated
•    local procedures must be established for verifying the completion of training and calibration
•    training history will no longer be available


There will be a TELPAS writing audit in spring 2016.


Questions about State Assessment? Mark Billingsley – mark.billingsley@esc13.txed.net

Questions about TELPAS? Trish Flores – trish.flores@esc13.txed.net

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2 Responses to “Changes to the Texas Assessment Program for the 2015–2016 School Year”

  1. Ray Villareal says:

    How many lines (pages) will 4th and 7th grade students be given to write their compositions?

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