TEA launches STAAR Interim Assessment Pilot

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath notified school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that the Texas Education Agency has launched the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness Interim Assessment Pilot.

“The STAAR Interim Assessment Pilot is an optional TEA tool to help educators tailor instructional practice to address students’ needs,” Morath said in a news release. “Interim assessment includes items developed with the help of Texas teachers, as well as some former STAAR summative test items. The interim assessment is a tool that districts and educators can use to improve outcomes for students in Texas.”

The spring 2018 Interim Assessments will be a pilot administration working with school districts and charters that elect to participate. Districts may elect to use these interim assessments district-wide. Schools and educators may also choose to administer them locally. All interim assessment items are fully aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the state’s curriculum standards used in all public schools, the release said.

School systems that choose to participate in the pilot will be asked to provide feedback via a survey. In addition, TEA will conduct on-site visits to get first-hand information from students and educators regarding their experience with the tool. Results of the survey and on-site visits will inform improvements in the Interim Assessments before the full launch in the 2018-2019 school year.

For the initial pilot period (spring 2018), grades three through eight mathematics and reading interim assessments will be available.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Algebra I, English I, and English II, as well as Spanish in grades three through five, will also be available. Interim assessments will be administered during a pilot testing window from Jan. 29 through March 23.

Morath stressed that the interim assessments will not be part of STAAR accountability, the release said. TEA will not have access to the student-level data.