89.1225 Testing and Classification of Students

(a) Beginning with school year 2019-2020, the provisions of this section shall expire and be superseded by the provisions in §89.1226 of this title (relating to Testing and Classification of Students, Beginning with School Year 2019-2020).

(b) Within four weeks of initial enrollment in a Texas public school, a student with a language other than English indicated on the home language survey shall be administered the required oral language proficiency test in prekindergarten through Grade 12 and norm-referenced standardized achievement instrument in Grades 2-12 as described in subsection (c) of this section and shall be identified as an English learner and placed in the required bilingual education or English as a second language (ESL) program in accordance with the criteria listed in subsection (f) of this section.

(c) For identifying English learners, school districts shall administer to each student who has a language other than English as identified on the home language survey:

(1) in prekindergarten through Grade 1, an oral language proficiency test approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA); and

(2) in Grades 2-12, a TEA-approved oral language proficiency test and the English reading and English language arts sections from a TEA-approved norm-referenced assessment.

(d) School districts that provide a bilingual education program at the elementary grades shall administer an oral language proficiency test in the primary language of the student who is eligible to be served in the bilingual education program. If the primary language of the student is Spanish, the school district shall administer a Spanish TEA-approved oral language proficiency test. If a TEA-approved language proficiency test is not available in the primary language of the student, the school district shall determine the student's level of proficiency using informal oral language assessment measures.

(e) All of the language proficiency testing shall be administered by professionals or paraprofessionals who are proficient in the language of the test and trained in the language proficiency testing requirements of the test publisher.

(f) For entry into a bilingual education or ESL program, a student shall be identified as an English learner using the following criteria.

(1) In prekindergarten through Grade 1, the student's score on the English oral language proficiency test is below the level designated for indicating English proficiency.

(2) In Grades 2-12:

(A) the student's score on the English oral language proficiency test is below the level designated for indicating English proficiency; and

(B) the student's score on the English reading and/or English language arts sections of the TEA-approved norm-referenced standardized achievement instrument at his or her grade level is below the 40th percentile.

(g) A student shall be identified as an English learner if the student's ability in English is so limited that the English oral language proficiency or norm-referenced assessments described in subsection (c) of this section cannot be administered.

(h) The language proficiency assessment committee in conjunction with the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee shall identify a student as an English learner if the student's ability in English is so limited or the student's disabilities are so severe that the English oral language proficiency or norm-referenced assessments described in subsection (c) of this section cannot be administered. The decision for entry into a bilingual education or ESL program shall be determined by the language proficiency assessment committee in conjunction with the ARD committee in accordance with §89.1220(f) of this title (relating to Language Proficiency Assessment Committee).

(i) For exit from a bilingual education or ESL program, a student may be classified as English proficient only at the end of the school year in which a student would be able to participate equally in a general education, all-English instructional program. This determination shall be based upon all of the following:

(1) English proficiency on the state's approved test that measures the extent to which the student has developed oral and written language proficiency and specific language skills in English;

(2) passing standard met on the reading assessment instrument under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023(a), or, for students at grade levels not assessed by the aforementioned reading assessment instrument, a score at or above the 40th percentile on both the English reading and the English language arts sections of the state's approved norm-referenced standardized achievement instrument; and

(3) English proficiency on a TEA-approved criterion-referenced written test and the results of a subjective teacher evaluation using the state's standardized rubric.

(j) A student may not be exited from the bilingual education or ESL program in prekindergarten or kindergarten. A school district must ensure that English learners are prepared to meet academic standards required by the TEC, §28.0211.

(k) A student may not be exited from the bilingual education or ESL program if the language proficiency assessment committee has recommended designated supports or accommodations on the state reading or writing assessment instrument.

(l) For English learners who are also eligible for special education services, the standardized process for English learner program exit is followed in accordance with applicable provisions of subsection (i) of this section. However, annual meetings to review student progress and make recommendations for program exit must be made in all instances by the language proficiency assessment committee in conjunction with the ARD committee in accordance with §89.1230(b) of this title (relating to Eligible Students with Disabilities). Additionally, the language proficiency committee in conjunction with the ARD committee shall implement assessment procedures that differentiate between language proficiency and disabling conditions in accordance with §89.1230(a) of this title.

(m) For an English learner with significant cognitive disabilities, the language proficiency assessment committee in conjunction with the ARD committee may determine that the state's English language proficiency assessment for exit is not appropriate because of the nature of the student's disabling condition. In these cases, the language proficiency assessment committee in conjunction with the ARD committee may recommend that the student take the state's alternate English language proficiency assessment and shall determine an appropriate performance standard requirement for exit by language domain under subsection (i)(1) of this section;

(n) Notwithstanding §101.101 of this title (relating to Group-Administered Tests), all tests used for the purpose of identification, exit, and placement of students and approved by the TEA must be re-normed at least every eight years.

(o) The grade levels and the scores on each test that shall identify a student as an English learner or exit a student from a bilingual or ESL program shall be established by the TEA. The commissioner of education may review the approved list of tests, grade levels, and scores annually and update the list.

 

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