August 21, 2014
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Performance Standards for the STAAR Program
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be maintaining the initial performance standards for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) program for the 2014–2015 school year given the number of changes impacting the STAAR program during this time. Changes include
In addition, TEA will be proposing, through commissioner of education rules, changes to the existing plan to phase in performance standards for the STAAR grades 3–8 and end-of-course (EOC) assessment programs.
The existing plan is being adjusted from two steps to three steps to allow for smaller, incremental movements toward the final performance standards. New performance standards will be established for the second phase-in and the newly established third phase-in prior to moving to the final recommended performance standards.
The timeline for the new three-step phase-in plan is outlined below.
The current policy regarding the way in which STAAR EOC performance standards are determined for each student will remain unchanged. Current Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section 101.3022, Assessment Requirements for Graduation, specifies that the standard in place when a student first takes an EOC assessment is the standard that will be maintained throughout the student’s school career. For example, if a student takes the STAAR Algebra I assessment in grade 7 or grade 8 at the phase-in 1 standard, all other EOC assessments required for graduation will be scored at the phase-in 1 standard for that student (even if the standards increase during the student’s high school career).
The primary reason for the change in the phase-in plan is to provide additional time for educators to adjust instruction to align with the more rigorous TEKS measured by the STAAR program. Additional time is being provided by
While I firmly believe that our students are capable of reaching the high expectations reflected in the TEKS and the STAAR performance standards, moving to a three-step phase-in plan gives educators additional time to make the significant adjustments in instruction necessary to raise the level of performance of all Texas students.
Commissioner of Education
TEA offers graduation toolkit to students, parents, school counselors
AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that the Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Workforce Commission, has available a graduation toolkit for students, parents and school counselors.
The toolkit provides essential information regarding the new graduation plan under House Bill 5, which was passed by the Texas Legislature last year. House Bill 5 provides for a more flexible graduation program for all students who enter high school beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. Commissioner Williams believes that information and early planning are now critical steps for all students and parents in preparing for high school and beyond.
“Students now have more choices, which means parents and students must begin exploring their high school options as early as eighth grade,” said Commissioner Williams. “This toolkit, which is available in English and Spanish, offers an excellent overview of the new state graduation requirements and endorsements, as well as vital information for postsecondary plans for college or the workforce.”
The graduation toolkit provides a summary of the state’s new graduation plan and descriptions of the five potential endorsements that can now be offered by high schools, as well as a checklist to begin planning for high school and beyond.
The toolkit offers students and parents an overview of the benefits to pursuing the Distinguished Level of Achievement graduation plan. House Bill 5 called on the Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Workforce Commission to collaborate in touting the Distinguished Level benefits. Benefits of the Distinguished Level include:
“It is critical for students and parents to be well informed on the changes to high school graduation plans so they can make thoughtful decisions early,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes. “This toolkit is designed to guide students and families through the benefits of each pathway to increase the likelihood of preparation and success in college and the workforce.”
The toolkit also includes information on various workforce resources provided through the Texas Workforce Commission. All these resources are geared toward assisting students and parents in planning for any postsecondary goals for college or career.
“I encourage students, parents, and school counselors to use this toolkit as a starting point for discussions about their students’ future endeavors,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar. “This excellent resource will assist Texas students as they plan their high school years and postsecondary careers.”
The graduation toolkit is available online for electronic use or printing. To view the graduation toolkit, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/
July 18, 2014
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED
SUBJECT: Final Adoption of New Teacher and Principal Standards
On June 30th, the new teacher standards took effect, marking the culmination of over a year’s effort on the part of educators throughout Texas to craft new standards for both teachers and principals. The principal standards went into effect on June 11th. Both sets of standards are housed in Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 149.
Starting in the spring of 2012, Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff worked with a principal advisory committee to build principal standards. This committee began by determining best practices for principals to be effective leaders and improve student performance, primarily by reframing the central role of the principal as the instructional leader of a campus. This work concluded in the fall of 2013 with a comprehensive set of principal standards that capture the aspirational practices all principals can strive toward regardless of their level of experience or the context of their position.
During the fall of 2013, TEA worked with a teacher steering committee comprised of classroom teachers from a variety of subjects and grade levels, campus principals, members from the higher education community, evaluation trainers from state regional service centers, and teacher association members. This committee revised and updated the state teaching standards to reflect best practices for today’s classrooms that have a research base in improving student achievement. Like the principal standards, the teacher standards provide goals for which all teachers can strive regardless of where they are in their career – both master teachers and beginning teachers will find practices captured in the standards toward which they can aspire.
Both the teacher and principal standards in rule are not intended to be indicators to be used for appraisal. The standards are designed to provide professional and instructional practice goals for all educators. The standards are also designed to align educator preparation, evaluation, mentorship, professional development, and career pathways to a single, foundational base.
Please contact Tim Regal at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about these new standards.