Thursday 9.17.15 the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Student Assessment staff shared updates regarding STAAR assessments for students with disabilities. Though STAAR and STAAR A are moving from Pearson to ETS, there will not be major changes for any assessment this year.
Accommodations for STAAR
The accommodations triangle from previous years has only a few clarification changes. The accommodations revised are Oral/Signed Administration, Mathematics Manipulatives, Calculation Devices, and Supplemental Aids. To see these changes, reference each accommodation document from the accommodations triangle on the TEA Accommodations Resources webpage. Make sure you select 2016 Accommodations link to see accommodations for the 2016 spring testing session. December 2015 tests will still be under 2015 Accommodations guidelines.
STAAR A for Spring 2016 testing session will be similar to STAAR A Spring 2015 though the testing platform will move to the ETS system. Updated resources for STAAR A, additional resources, and new training opportunities will be posted to the STAAR A Resources webpage as they become available. TEA did project that online student tutorials will not be available until the spring semester because of the changes in test platform. TEA reported that survey results from testing administrators of STAAR A were positive and many felt the online test with embedded accommodations had a positive impact on students.
STAAR Alternate 2
STAAR Alternate 2 will be similar to Spring 2015. Changes were made to the materials check-out procedures during the preview period. Released test questions are available for educators to become familiar with the test format, practice the presentation instructions, and to determine options for students to access stimulus images. TEA added structured reminders to the allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2. These and other allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2 can be found in the Educators Guide to STAAR Alternate 2 and the 2016 STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual, which will be posted in October. TEA reported a majority of positive responses on the STAAR Alternate 2 survey. The three week assessment will is April 4-22, 2016.
STAAR A and STAAR Alternate 2 now have online platforms that support the use of tablets and Chromebooks. It is anticipated that these devices will be allowed for Spring testing administration. The Technology System Requirements document is not yet posted on the TEA website. Please watch for more information on this topic. Update: Unified Minimum System Requirements for the Administration of Online Assessments has been posted.
December STAAR A ONLY
December STAAR A tests will be administered as a paper test only. There is no special request process for the paper administration of these tests. It is only for EOCs given in December of 2015. After this administration, all STAAR A testing will follow the original STAAR A format and guidelines. It is not necessary to revisit the assessment decision simply because STAAR A will be administered only on paper in December. The secure STAAR A Paper Administration Guide provides specific instructions for how embedded accommodations are to be provided. Allowable test administrator-provided accommodation support is specifically described in the accommodation tables that will be in the guide. These tables allow the test administrator to Say something to the student, to Show the student a visual, or to Indicate to the student specific information in the student’s test booklet.
- Test administrators who have not administered a paper version of STAAR A must be trained according to the STAAR A Paper Administration Guide.
- Individual or small group administrations are necessary because test administrators respond to student requests for reading text aloud and presenting additional accommodations, .
- Students taking a paper administration of STAAR A cannot be grouped with students taking other assessments.
- Students record their responses to test questions on the answer document.
For a complete copy of the TEA presentation, go to http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/special-ed and scroll down to Training Information Fall Update TETN.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact JC Sanders, firstname.lastname@example.org for STAAR accommodation triangle or STAAR A questions, Joanna Ryan, email@example.com for STAAR Alternate 2 questions, or Nichole Kertis Barton, firstname.lastname@example.org for Assistive Technology questions.