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TEA Offers Free Tool to Parents and Schools to Diagnose How Much Their Students Learned This Year and To Help Educators Plan for the “COVID Slide”

TEA Offers Free Tool to Parents and Schools to Diagnose How Much Their Students Learned This Year and To Help Educators Plan for the “COVID Slide”

Starting today, parents—or students themselves—can go here and register to take optional end-of-year tests to measure academic knowledge & skills

AUSTIN, Texas – May 12, 2020 – To further support student learning and an understanding of student progress even as students are educated from home for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, TEA has launched free, optional end-of-year (EOY) assessments that school systems and parents can choose to administer. This optional test does not take the place of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), which Governor Greg Abbott cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

The optional EOY assessment gives parents and educators access to a powerful tool that shows what their students have learned and where they can improve their knowledge and understanding of key subject matter heading into the 2020-21 academic year.

Educators across Texas have voiced concerns that their students may not be making as much academic progress as they should because of the disruption caused by COVID-19. Researchers have noted that in some cases students could see significant academic declines, dubbing it a potential “COVID Slide.” This free diagnostic tool will highlight the student progress that has been made, while also bringing to light any gaps that may have emerged during this atypical school year. The results of this optional testing will provide valuable data that informs further instructional support school systems can provide this summer and into the coming school year. It is very important to note that TEA is not requiring these EOY assessments and will not collect testing data for any accountability purposes.

Parents can register their student for the optional EOY assessments beginning today, May 12. The registration period will run through June 5, 2020. Parents will be able to administer the tests at home through June 12. The optional EOY assessments will be available online and in a printable PDF format. Students can access the online tests at home using a web browser. Districts may also print PDF versions of the tests from the testing platform and send to students along with the paper answer documents.

The optional EOY assessments cover the same grades, subjects, and courses as STAAR. However, writing assessments will not include a writing prompt and will be multiple-choice only; EOY assessments for Algebra II and English III will not be offered. School systems and parents with questions about the optional EOY assessments can visit the EOY Assessment FAQs for more information. For instructions on the test registration process, please see details below.

Test Registration Information for School Systems
The registration process for the optional EOY assessments requires a district to complete two steps. The first is to notify Pearson of a district’s choice to participate in the EOY assessments by submitting a webform. The second is to provide a registration data file in the same format used for STAAR. Separate data files for 3–8 and EOC are preferred but not required.

Note that the process for loading the data file will be different than the process currently used for other assessment programs like STAAR Alternate 2. Districts will submit their registration data files as an attachment in a Support Request in the PearsonAccess Next training site. This process will allow Pearson to upload the district’s data into the EOY assessment testing platform so that student access can be created.

District personnel with access to the training site can submit registration information. See the registration video to learn more.

Test Registration Information for Parents and Students
Parents—or students themselves—can go here and login now. Registration for the optional EOY assessments will be available from today, May 12, through June 5, 2020. A parent registration form and supporting materials are now posted on TEA’s website: Optional End-of-Year Assessments.

If a parent (instead of a district) registers his or her child to test, Pearson will work directly with the parent to provide testing credentials and materials. If both the district and the parent register a student for testing, the student’s login information will be sent to the district as well as the student’s reporting data.