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TASA Testifies at Hearing on Proposed Rules for STAAR Standards and Labels

01.17.2017 — On Friday, January 13, TEA held a hearing on proposed amendments to rules affecting STAAR standards. The agency proposes locking in the former phase-in level II rate at its current level of rigor, and renaming student performance labels to “approaches grade level performance,” “meets grade level performance,” and “masters grade level performance.” See the proposed amendments.

Casey McCreary, assistant executive director, TASA Education Policy and Leadership Development, testified on behalf of TASA and the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA). Read the testimony.

Additional testimony was given by individuals representing: Austin ISD, Crandall ISD, Lorena ISD, Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE), Disability Rights Texas (DRT), Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA), Texas School Alliance (TSA), Texas-American Federation of Teachers (TX-AFT), and other stakeholders.

All groups and districts were aligned in their testimony. The commissioner’s proposal to lock in the former phase-in level II rate at its current rate of rigor and establish a final set of performance standards for the STAAR and end-of-course exams based on the 2016 standards was supported as a way to add stability to the system. The commissioner’s proposal to rename the student performance labels was vehemently opposed for the reasons outlined in TASA’s testimony.

TEA Deputy Commissioner of Academics Penny Schwinn concluded the hearing by thanking those who had testified and saying that the testimony would be taken under consideration.

Note: As posted in the proposed rules section of the TEA website, the amended rules would go into effect beginning with the 2016-17 or current school year. The earliest possible date of adoption is listed as January 9, 2017. The time period for commenting on the proposed rules on the Texas Register has closed. The comments submitted at the hearing last Friday do become part of the public record. TASA will keep you informed as more information becomes available.