This article appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of The Classroom Teacher.

The Texas Education Agency launched the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness Interim Assessment Pilot as “an optional tool to help educators tailor instructional practice to address students’ needs,” Education Commissioner Mike Morath said in a Jan. 8 letter. 

Developed with the help of Texas teachers, the tool aims to help improve student scores on the STAAR exams. Interim assessments were administered between Jan. 29 and March 23 in grades 3 through 8 mathematics and reading. In the 2018-19 school year, Algebra I, English I and English II, as well as Spanish in grades 3-5, also will be available. To read more, click here.

In late March, TEA requested districts meeting certain criteria to apply for participation in the 2018 Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System Alternate pilot test. The pilot assessment will evaluate limited English proficient students in grades 3-12 whose admission, review and dismissal committee has determined eligibility for STAAR. The pilot test was administered between April 23 and May 4. To read more, click here.

In April, Morath released his final decisions regarding the A-F accountability system framework. Although campuses will continue to be rated “Met Standard” or “Needs Improvement” for the 2017-18 school year, House Bill 22 (passed in 2017) provides that campuses will receive an A-F rating in the 2018-19 school year. 

TEA developed the accountability system using various modes of stakeholder input, in which TCTA participated. The A-F framework will serve as the basis for the 2018 accountability manual, which is expected to be published as a proposed rule for further public comment in mid-May. Morath said an appendix to the manual will be published in June to “provide specific answers as to what adjustments to accountability determinations will be made because of (Hurricane Harvey).” To read more, click here.