2011-2012 Special Education Assessment Options

The upcoming 2011-2012 school year will be a BIG transition year when it comes to statewide assessment options for students receiving special education services.  There will be different assessment options to choose from depending upon the subject area and grade level of the student.

For example, as noted in a previous post, STAAR-Alternate will be the only assessment administered for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities beginning with the 2011-2012 school year. While TAKS, TAKS-Acc and TAKS-M will still be administered to students in grade 10 and 11, TAKS-Alt will NOT be available for 10th and 11th grade students meeting the criteria for the most significant cognitive disabilities.

GRADES 3-8
Students with disabilities, in grades 3-8, will have the following statewide assessment options:  STAAR, STAAR Modified, and STAAR Alternate.

HIGH SCHOOL
High school students with disabilities, first enrolled in the ninth grade, in 2011-2012, will now take one of the following End-of-Course assessments:  STAAR, STAAR Modfied, and STAAR Alternate.  The End-of-Course (EOC) assessment they need to take is dictated by the course(s) they are enrolled in.  If a ninth grade student with a disability is enrolled in Algebra I, they will have to take the STAAR EOC (STAAR, STAAR Modified, or STAAR Alternate) assessment for that course.  Algebra II, chemistry, and physics are the only courses that will NOT have a STAAR Modified option.

High school students with disabilities, NOT enrolled in the ninth grade, in 2011-2012, will have the following statewide assessment options:  TAKS, TAKS-Acc, TAKS-M, and STAAR Alternate.

High school students repeating the ninth grade in 2011-2012, will still be taking TAKS as their assessment graduation requirement.

SUMMARY
The attached document here, is a newly distributed “To the Administrator Addressed” letter from TEA.  Page four has a simple and clear table illustrating all of the assessment options available at each grade level.  You can also access a web-based version of the letter here.

The links below will provide you with further detailed information on the transition to STAAR.
QUICK LINKS
ESC Region XIII’s STAAR Resources
Student Assessment Calendars
STAAR Modified Implementation Plan

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a comment below.


Alternate Assessment Change for 2011-2012

The Texas Education Agency via TETN announced this morning that STAAR-Alternate will be the only assessment administered for students with significant cognitive disabilities beginning with the 2011-2012 school year. While TAKS, TAKS-A and TAKS-M will still be administered to students in grade 10 and 11, TAKS-Alt will NOT be available for 10th and 11th grade students meeting the criteria for the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Pat Otto, the Alternate Assessment Manager at TEA provided the attached document to explain the rationale for this decision and how state testing requirements will be met for the affected students.

More details will be coming in the Alternate Assessment TETN scheduled for May 12th from 1 – 3 pm, but we wanted you to have this information as soon as possible because of its implications for ARD Committee decisions and summer training.

Please feel free to contact Ann  Jacobson at ann.jacobson@esc13.txed.net if you have any questions about the transition to STAAR-Alternate.

QUICK LINKS:
TETN April 5, 2011 Document

TAKS-ALT Participation Requirement Criteria

Blog Post on Assessment Decisions for Students with Disabilities

Graduation Changes for Students with IEPs

The new STAAR EOC assessments and the revisions to Commissioner’s Rule 89.1070 will impact ARD committee decisions this spring. What should districts and campuses do now to prepare for the 2011-12 school year?

Guidance from TEA related to these changes is still pending.  ESC Region XIII has created two documents to help districts begin to address the new rules and assessments. Use the following links to access the documents:

Graduation Changes: What Districts Should Consider (Spring_2011)

89.1070: Outline of New Rules (UPDATED OCTOBER 2011)


Who Can I Contact at Region XIII?

For questions related to graduation for students with IEPs:

Elizabeth Schroeder
Education Specialist for Transition
elizabeth.schroeder@esc13.txed.net
512-919-5182

 

For questions related to accommodations/modifications for instruction and assessment:

Cathy Miller
Education Specialist for Access to General Curriculum (AGC)
cathy.miller@esc13.txed.net
512-919-5160

Decisions…Decisions…

It’s that time of year……the TAKS season is upon us.  Students will begin testing soon.  How can you be sure that each student will be taking the appropriate test?  ARD committees may need some helpful guidance.  Attached is a tool for examining the alignment of TAKS decisions based on student need and state requirements.  To utilize this tool click on the appropriate grade level below.

Which test should they take?

Choosing the best statewide assessment for a student with a disability is a critical decision for every IEP team. Many different factors influence and support the choice of one statewide assessment over another, especially when the student may need to take an alternate assessment.  In some situations, the  federal 1% and 2% proficiency cap rule has been used as a decisive factor in assessment choice, rather than individualized student needs.

The Quick-Tip video below addresses why the 1% and 2% proficiency cap rule should never be used as a defining factor when choosing an alternate assessment for a student with a disability.  Instead, we need to use our knowledge of how the student is interacting and accessing their enrolled grade level content.

You can find further and more detailed information from TEA on assessment choice by following the links below.
TAKS Assessment Comparison Chart
TAKS-M Participation Requirements
TAKS-ALT Participation Requirements