The Texas Education Agency recently announced the availability of optional end-of-year assessments that districts, educators and parents can use to monitor student progress for the remainder of the school year, in light of remote instruction necessitated by school closures due to COVID-19. In addition, TEA is working on optional diagnostic beginning-of-year assessments for use as the 2020–21 school year starts, which will be provided in addition to the interim assessments available next school year.

Both EOY and BOY assessments can be used by districts, educators and parents and include formerly released STAAR test questions (from 2013-2019) that measure the TEKS and cover the same grades/subjects covered by STAAR. The student performance data from these assessments is not intended to be used for purposes such as accountability, staff performance, compensation measures or student placement decisions. 

BOY assessments will be in a different format than the EOY assessments.

Districts may use the student performance data from the optional EOY tests as one of several data points to evaluate the progress students have made this school year. TEA plans to release the EOY assessments and answers this fall.

A district or a parent may register a student for the optional EOY assessments. The registration window for districts opened April 22 and closes May 29. The registration window for parents opens May 11 and closes June 5. The testing window opens May 11 and closes June 12. 

The end-of-year tests are available in an online or paper format, although the online test is recommended. Students using the online format can access the tests at home through a web browser, using Pearson’s Schoolnet platform, and will receive automated scoring results immediately. Reporting data for online testers will be aggregated and provided to districts. Test results will include how a student performed overall, how he or she did on each test question along with the correct answer, images of each test question, and recommended next steps. Overall test performance will be reported by raw score, scale score and performance level.

In general, the EOY assessments have the same number of test questions as the corresponding STAAR test and take about the same length of time to complete. Since EOY assessments will be taken at home, students can pace themselves as necessary to complete tests. Students will have the ability to pause the online tests but will not be able to retake tests.

All of the tests have the following accommodations/accessibility tools: highlighter, notepad, help, guideline, color, zoom, mark for review, answer masking, answer eliminator, text-to-speech. The tools for specific content-related tests include: basic calculator, scientific calculator, graphing calculator, customary ruler, metric ruler, mathematics reference materials (i.e., conversions and formulas), science reference materials (i.e., formulas and periodic table). No content and language supports (pop ups) will be available given the quick turnaround for these tests.

Students should use the same accommodations and accessibility tools they routinely and effectively use during classroom instruction and classroom testing. According to TEA, it is not necessary to hold an ARD, LPAC or other decision-making meeting to determine accommodations for the EOY assessments.

All online tests have a help menu available for students to use when seeking help navigating the tests.

Paper format tests will involve printing and possibly shipping test booklets and answer documents, returning answer documents to a district for scoring if reporting data is desired, and entering students’ responses into a test form if reporting data is desired. For students who take the EOY assessments on paper, districts should provide local guidance to parents on returning answer documents back to the district.

A district toolkit containing information regarding registering students for the test, User Account Distribution and Test Codes, accessing reports, and paper testing is available in Avocet.

A parent toolkit containing information regarding an EOY Assessment overview, registering their student for the test, practice tests and accessing results is available in Avocet.