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.
STAAR/STAAR ALT 2
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
- writing at grades 4 and 7
- 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.
STAAR ALT 2 Information
TEA has developed the STAAR Alternate 2 (STAAR Alt 2) assessment to meet the federal requirements mandated under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a federal education law previously known as No Child Left Behind. TEA designed the STAAR Alternate 2 to assess students in grades 3–8 and high school who have significant cognitive disabilities and are receiving special education services.
The Texas Education Agency definition of a student with a significant cognitive disability is a student who:
- exhibits significant intellectual and adaptive behavior deficits in their ability to plan, comprehend, and reason, and ALSO indicates adaptive behavior deficits that limit their ability to apply social and practical skills such as personal care, social problem-solving skills, dressing, eating, using money, and other functional skills across life domains;
- is NOT identified based on English learner designation or solely on the basis of previous low academic achievement or the need for accommodations; and
- requires extensive, direct, individualized instruction, as well as a need for substantial supports that are neither temporary nor specific to a particular content area.
Determination of who will take the STAAR Alt 2 state assessment is made by a committee composed of parents, administrators, specialists and the students teacher.
Waiver of the Student Success Initiative (SSI) promotion requirements
In light of past and anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commissioner of education is exercising his authority under Texas Education Code (TEC), Section 7.056, to waive the requirements of TEC, Section 28.0211 regarding grade promotion requirements for students in fifth and eighth grade for the 2020–2021 school year.
Students enrolled in grades 5 and 8 are still required to take the appropriate State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) tests once. Regardless of their score, retest opportunities will not be provided. Districts will have local discretion on whether these students should advance to the next grade, just like students in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7. These decisions should be based on local criteria that reflect a student’s academic achievement and mastery of subject matter, and should include STAAR assessment results, along with other relevant information. Districts are still responsible for providing accelerated instruction and supports for students that fail to perform satisfactorily on STAAR. Furthermore, although students in grades 5 and 8 will not be retained solely on the basis of STAAR results, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools will remain accountable for student performance.
As a part of this waiver, there will only be one administration of the STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020–2021 school year. This administration will be in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR grades 3–8 assessments.
For more information: TEA Resources: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/