Oral/Signed Administration

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 Description of Designated Support

This designated support allows test material to be read aloud or signed to a student. All references to reading support during an oral administration also apply to signing during a signed administration. An online oral/signed administration is administered via text-to-speech (TTS) or American Sign Language (ASL) videos.

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 Assessments

For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, this designated support may be used on paper and online tests for

  • STAAR and STAAR Spanish mathematics, science, and social studies
    Test questions, answer choices, and embedded supports can be read aloud.
    Required reference materials (where applicable) and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.

  • STAAR and STAAR Spanish reading
    Test questions, answer choices, and embedded supports can be read aloud.
    Required reference materials (where applicable) and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.
    Reading selections CANNOT be read aloud.

  • STAAR and STAAR Spanish writing
    Revising passages, revising test questions and answer choices, and embedded supports can be read aloud.
    Required reference materials (where applicable) and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.
    Editing passages, test questions, and answer choices CANNOT be read aloud.

  • STAAR English I, English II, and English III
    Reading test questions and answer choices, revising passages, revising test questions and answer choices, and embedded supports can be read aloud.
    Required reference materials and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.
    Reading selections, editing passages, and editing test questions and answer choices CANNOT be read aloud.

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 Student Eligibility Criteria

A student may use this designated support if that student

  • routinely and effectively uses it during classroom instruction and classroom testing, and
  • meets at least one of the following:
  • The student is a current EL and takes a STAAR test in English.
  • The student is identified with dyslexia or a related disorder per TEC §38.003.
  • The student has documented evidence of reading difficulties.

NOTE: ELs taking STAAR Spanish may be eligible for an oral administration if they meet either of the last two bullets.


 Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • For a student not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision is made by the appropriate team of people at the campus level (e.g., RTI team, student assistance team) and documented according to district policies. The decision should be based on the eligibility criteria and aimed at addressing a student’s consistent academic struggle in a specific area even after intensive instruction and remediation.
  • For a student who is an EL, the decision is made by the LPAC based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s permanent record file.
  • For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s IAP.
  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the ARD committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s IEP.
  • In the case of an EL with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group above in conjunction with the student’s LPAC. The decision is to be documented by the LPAC in the student’s permanent record file and by the other applicable group, as described above.
  • After state testing, OA must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the student’s answer document. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student. This embedded support is automatically recorded in the Assessment Management System.

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 Examples/Types

Several types of oral administration are available. All guidelines for providing an oral administration apply to paper tests, braille tests, and online tests. 

Oral Administration of STAAR and STAAR Spanish Paper Tests and STAAR Braille Tests

Oral administration should only be provided to an eligible student by a trained test administrator. Test administrators must be trained in the procedures specific to an oral administration. Guidelines for providing an oral administration can be found in the Oral/Signed Administration Guidelines document located on the Accommodation Resources webpage.

If conducting a signed administration to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, test administrators should also read the specific guidelines for signing test content included in the General Instructions for Administering State Assessments to Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing document, located on TEA’s Accommodation Resources webpage.

Oral administration can include different levels of reading support for each eligible student. The test administrator may

  • read parts of the test questions and answer choices at student request
  • read all test questions and answer choices throughout the test

It is the responsibility of the appropriate team of people at the campus level (e.g., ARD committee, ARD committee in conjunction with LPAC, Section 504 placement committee, RTI team, student assistance team) to determine eligibility and document the level of reading support the student needs in the appropriate student paperwork. A student can request a change to the level of reading support provided during testing if this option is documented. Test administrators must be made aware of the level of reading support each student is to receive and whether the student can change the level of reading support during testing, based on the documentation in the student’s paperwork.

STAAR and STAAR Spanish Online Tests

TTS is offered as an online option for oral administration. The TTS tool allows a student to independently select and change his or her level of reading support during the test administration.

ASL videos are offered as an online option for a signed administration. ASL videos allow a student to independently select and change the level of signing support during the test administration. However, it is important to note that ASL videos are only available for test questions and revising passages in English, and are not offered on Spanish tests or for content and language supports (i.e., pop-ups and rollovers). In these instances, the test administrator may sign test content in the same way as they do for paper tests. More information can be found in the General Instructions for Administering State Assessments to Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing document located on TEA’s Accommodation Resources webpage.

It is recommended that students complete the STAAR online tutorial as well as practice using the released tests prior to test administration. The tutorial and released tests are available through the STAAR Online Testing Platform. These resources allow students to become familiar with the functionality of online tests. Specific information regarding setting up and managing online test sessions is available at Technology Systems webpage.

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 Special Instructions/Considerations

  1. A student who uses this designated support may complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure the confidentiality of the test.
  2. Any type of oral administration in which the test administrator has to view a secure state assessment requires that the test administrator sign a security oath. Responding to test questions, making notes about test questions, and discussing the content of the test at any time are prohibited.
  3. It is the responsibility of the district/campus to determine the most appropriate way to group students in order to provide a proper test administration.
  4. If providing an oral administration to a student taking a braille test, including STAAR online with screen reader support for refreshable braille displays, refer to the General Instructions for Administering Braille State Assessments document, located on TEA’s Accommodation Resources webpage.
  5. Information about setting up online test sessions for students who are eligible for an oral administration (i.e., TTS) can be found in the STAAR Assessment Management System User’s Guide.
  6. Students for whom the LPAC recommends the use of this support for any English reading or English EOC assessments may not be reclassified at the end of the school year. In addition, LPACs may not recommend designated supports for an EL whose parents have denied bilingual or ESL services. However, English learners who are approved by a different committee to receive this support, based on reasons other than English language acquisition (such as a disability or documented academic or literacy difficulties), may be considered for reclassification at the end of the school year.
  7. The revising passages and questions in a paper test booklet for STAAR writing tests (including the writing portion of the English I, English II, and English III tests) may be read aloud to eligible students. The revising section of the test will be indicated so that the test administrator knows what they may read aloud. Test administrators may NOT read aloud any part of the editing section on a writing test.

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