TCTA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 23, 2013, in response to proposed regulations announced Aug. 23 that would require states to “transition away from” use of modified tests such as the STAAR-M for special education students after the 2013-14 school year.

TCTA took issue with the Department's rationale that the promise of the new slate of Common Core assessments, combined with appropriate supports and instruction, will render modified tests no longer "educationally appropriate." TCTA responded that the student’s IEP team is the appropriate entity to make decisions about what is educationally appropriate for a student, not the Department of Education.

TCTA included numerous comments received from TCTA members asserting compelling reasons why modified tests are indeed educationally appropriate for certain students. The educators who responded to TCTA’s survey on the elimination of modified tests for special education students were nearly unanimous in their opposition to the elimination of modified tests. (Thank you to all those who provided input on this important topic; we were pleased to receive so many responses.)

TCTA's Washington, D.C., lobby firm also has contacted the office of each member of the Texas congressional delegation on the issue.

Teachers/public may submit comments directly to USDE by Oct. 7

While TCTA has submitted comments on behalf of our members, we still very much encourage teachers and others to submit comments on the proposed regulations to the USDE via the Federal eRulemaking Portal by the Oct. 7 deadline. It is important that the USDE hears directly from educators as well as from groups such as TCTA.

Click here to view the proposed regulation and comment.

How to leave a comment:

Click the "Comment Now" button. This will display the comment web form. You can then enter your submitter information (if required), and type your comment on the web form. Information entered on the web form may be publicly viewable. The globe icon identifies these fields.

You can also attach additional files (up to 10MB). When you have finished typing your comment, click the "Preview Comment" link to review. Once you are satisfied with your comment, click the "Submit" button to send your comment to the federal agency. Upon completion, you will receive a tracking number for your submission.

The system allows 20 minutes to complete the comment form. If you need more time to submit your comment, be sure to continue your session when prompted; otherwise, you will be timed out and your comment will not be submitted.

Some agencies also accept comments by mail, fax, or email. To find out if you can use one of these alternate methods, click the "Alternate Ways to Comment" link in the upper right corner of the "Submit a Comment" screen.

NOTE: The comment due date indicated on is based on Eastern Standard Time.