Testing & Evaluation

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The office of Testing and Evaluation serves instructional leaders by facilitating testing. This is accomplished by collecting, analyzing and reporting test results and program data. These tasks support data-driven decisions and targeted planning of instruction. In so doing, we help Northside increase student success by focusing on accurate and timely data collection, evaluation, and dissemination.


The Department of Testing & Evaluation in Northside ISD is comprised of two (2) distinct components which are intricately related and purposely aimed at improving the academic performance of students in the District. In the simplest definition, the Testing component is primarily concerned with facilitating all group assessment activities while the Evaluation component focuses on data analysis of the test results and other data for program effectiveness.

The Northside ISD testing program, like others in the State of Texas, is primarily determined by the many and varied components of the State assessment program. While many districts throughout the State choose to use only the State-mandated tests such as STAAR, and EOC tests, NISD has long felt that local-option testing programs are vital to provide information that is crucial to further excellence in teaching.

The Testing & Evaluation Office provides a number of services to the campuses and the central administration of Northside ISD. We invite you to contact us with any questions you may have. You are also welcome to call 397-8726 to set up a time to visit our office located at 5651 Grissom Road to discuss the District and/or State testing program.




The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) program, which was implemented in spring 2012, includes annual assessments for 

  • reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
  • science at grades 5 and 8
  • social studies at grade 8
  • end-of-course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology and U.S history.

STAAR Alternate 2 assesses students in grades 3–8 and high school who have significant cognitive disabilities and are receiving special education services.



  • Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System
  • Is designed to assess the progress that limited Emergent Bilingual (EB) students make in learning the English language.
  • Is taken in kindergarten through grade 12 in four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Assesses students in alignment with the Texas English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), which are part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The ELPS proficiency level descriptors (PLDs) present the major characteristics of each language proficiency level in each language domain. The PLDs define how well ELLs at the four proficiency levels are able to understand and use English in grade-level academic settings.

Student performance is reported in terms of four English language proficiency levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high.


All limited English proficient students as identified by the bilingual student placement center.

An online reading test based on multiple choice questions used to determine students English reading levels.

  • Teachers are trained to use proficiency level descriptors to determine the English language proficiency levels of students based on classroom observations and written student work.  
  • Teachers are required to go online and pass calibration tests that assess the teacher’s knowledge of rating various student TELPAS writing, listening and speaking samples.  A teacher must successfully calibrate every year in order to qualify to assess students TELPAS ratings. After passing the TELPAS calibration test the teacher is also required to go online and pass a refresher TELPAS training course where the teacher rates various writing samples.

TELPAS results are used to meet state and federal reporting and accountability requirements teachers are trained to use proficiency level descriptors (assessment guidelines) to determine the English language proficiency levels of students based on classroom observations and written student work.

  • Beginning (Little or no English ability)
  • Intermediate (Limited ability, simple language structures, high-frequency vocabulary, routine contexts)
  • Advanced (Grade appropriate, with second language acquisition support)
  • Advanced High (Grade appropriate, with minimal second language acquisition support)
  • To help parents monitor the progress their children make in learning English.
  • To inform instructional planning and program exit decisions for individual students.
  • To report performance to local school boards, school professionals, and the community.
  • To evaluate programs, resources, and staffing patterns.
  • To evaluate districts and campuses in a variety of state and federal accountability measures.
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COGAT 07 Information

The Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT) measures general reasoning abilities in three domains: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal.  CogAT’s measurement of three different content domains ensures that educators receive a balanced view of the child. Although its primary goal is to assess students’ reasoning abilities, CogAT can also provide predicted achievement scores when administered with The Iowa Tests.




The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides first hand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.

The SAT Suite of Assessments will be digital this school year. Students will be taking the PSAT on a digital device. For additional information visit the College Board Digital Suite of Assessments webpage.

NISD currently offers the PSAT test to all sophomores and juniors as a tool to prepare for the SAT and National Merit Scholarship program. The test is given once a year in October.  For questions regarding this test, please contact your high school Counselor.


PSAT/NMSQT Testing Date for 2023-2024:
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - NISD Enrolled Students
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - Homeschool Students

Registration for 10th & 11th grade homeschool students will open on Monday, August 28, 2023. The deadline for homeschool students to register for the October 17, 2023, PSAT administration is Tuesday, September 26, 2023. Due to College Board's test ordering deadline and planning, no late registrations will be accepted. Registration information coming soon.



Out of School (OOS)/Out of District (OOD)

Northside ISD has registered with the Texas Education Agency as an Out of School (OOS) and Out of District (OOD) state testing site. NISD provides one central testing location for OOS and OOD state testing. Only STAAR state assessments will be administered at the site. The NISD site is the Student Services Center - Testing Annex (Behind Student Services Building) located at 5651 Grissom Road. Individual high school campuses will not serve as OOS or OOD sites.

  • NISD will only test on the dates posted under Important Dates on this site.
  • Students must pre-register through texasassessment.gov by the deadlines provided by TEA. NISD does not allow walk-in registration.
  • Check-in requires a pre-registration form and valid photo identification.
  • Students may begin the check-in process at 7:30 am on the date of testing.
  • Forms of photo identification accepted by NISD may be a campus ID, driver's license, military ID or passport. Students without a valid photo ID will not be allowed to test.
  • Students must plan to arrive at the test site, check-in and be seated prior to the start time of the test. Once a test session starts, NISD will not allow late check-in's to test.
  • NISD will offer one test session date (no make-up testing) that will begin at 8 am. Refer to the Important Dates below for the date of each test session.
  • Students must follow Guidelines for the new dress and grooming policy or will not be allowed to check in and test.
  • NISD does not provide lunch for students.
  • Students who have completed testing may turn in the test materials and leave the testing site.
  • Test results will be available on the texasassessment.gov portal at a date Spring Administration: June 30, 2023, and June administration: August 2, 2023.

Students who will be away from their home districts, also called out-of-district (OOD) students, for theSpring 2023 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) end-of-course (EOC) administration can register to take the necessary assessments at any participating Texas campus. In addition, out-of-school (OOS) examinees can register to take the necessary STAAR EOC assessments at any participating Texas campus.

For the June 2023 STAAR EOC administration, OOD and OOS examinees must  register online. The STAAR Out-of-School and Out-of-District Frequently Asked Questions can be found here. The OOD and OOS test site directory with the list of participating campuses can be found here. The specific dates and times for each assessment can be found on the registration form as well.

The Texas Assessments of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests are no longer being administered. Former TAKS examinees (including former Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAAS) and Texas Educational Assessment of Minimal Skills (TEAMS) examinees) can take the appropriate State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) test. STAAR may be used as an alternate assessment to meet graduation testing requirements for former TAKS, TAAS, and TEAMS examinees.

The Spring 2023 STAAR EOC OOD and OOS registration window opens on Monday, May 15, 2023. Registration deadline for the Spring assessments is Friday, May 19, 2023.

The assessments will be administered as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 20, 2023 - English I
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2023 - Algebra I
  • Thursday, June 22, 2023 - English II
  • Friday, June 23, 2023 - Biology
  • Friday, June 23, 2023 - US History
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Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation is a component of the Office of Research and Development located in Student Services.  This unit responds to federal, state and other grant-funded program requirements and directly supports District Strategic Plan Goal III, Objective 7:  Use data to inform and drive instructional decision-making.  Accountability reports, program evaluations, and other ad hoc reports provide important information used to evaluate instructional and program effectiveness and to increase student achievement.

Contact the Office of Research and Development at 210-397-8726 for any questions and further information.