Oral and Signed Administration

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For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, this designated support may be used on:

STAAR and STAAR Spanish Accommodations available for Oral and Signed Administration

*For signed administration and American Sign Language (ASL) videos, refer to the Signed Administration and ASL Videos topic under Examples and Types.

 Description of Designated Support

This designated support allows test material to be read aloud or signed to a student. All references in this document to reading support during an oral administration also apply to oral interpretation (e.g., lipreading) and signing during a signed administration. An online oral or signed administration is administered via text-to-speech (TTS) or ASL videos.

 Student Eligibility Criteria

A student may use this designated support if that student routinely and effectively uses the designated support during classroom instruction and classroom testing and meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • the student is a current emergent bilingual (EB) student and takes a State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) test in English,

  • the student is identified with dyslexia or a related disorder per Texas Education Code §38.003, or

  • the student has documented evidence of reading difficulties.

NOTE: An EB student taking STAAR Spanish may be eligible for an oral administration if the student meets either of the requirements noted in the last two bullets and if a committee other than the language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) determines the student to be eligible.

 Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • Either the Text-To-Speech or Auto Text-To-Speech field should be updated under the Test Attributes panel in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) prior to testing so the designated support is made available in the Test Delivery System (TDS).

  • The STAAR Non-Embedded Supports field should be updated under the Non-Embedded Supports panel in TIDE after testing to indicate that an oral administration was provided to a student testing on paper.

  • For a student not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision is made by the appropriate team at the campus level (e.g., Response to Intervention [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 an EB student who is testing in English, the decision is made by the LPAC based on 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 eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s individual accommodation plan (IAP).

  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student's individualized education program (IEP).

  • In the case of an EB student with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group in conjunction with the student's LPAC and documented in the student’s permanent record file and IAP or IEP.

 Examples and Types

Several types of oral administration are available. All guidelines for providing an oral administration apply to online, paper, and braille administrations. To become familiar with the functionality of online tests, students should practice using the tools in the Practice Test Site. 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 committee, RtI team, student assistance team) to determine eligibility and to document the level of reading support the student needs in the appropriate student paperwork.

Oral Administration of STAAR Paper Tests, STAAR Spanish Paper Tests, and STAAR Braille Tests
The Oral Administration designated support should be provided only to an eligible student by a test administrator who has been trained in the procedures specific to oral administration. The test administrator may use one of the following approaches:

  • read parts of the test questions and answer choices at student request, or

  • read all test questions and answer choices in the order they are presented.

Test administrators must be made aware of the level of reading support each student is to receive and whether the student is permitted to change the level of reading support during testing, based on documentation in the student's official record.

STAAR and STAAR Spanish Online Tests
For students taking an online assessment, TTS is offered as an online option for oral administration. The TTS tool allows an eligible student to receive one of two different levels of reading support while testing. As determined by the appropriate committee, the student may:

  • select any or all eligible test questions (including constructed-response questions) and answer choices to be read aloud using the TTS tool, or

  • have all eligible parts of the test be automatically read aloud by the auto-TTS tool in the order they are presented.

Test administrators must be made aware of the level of reading support each student is to receive so that they may confirm that the appropriate level of reading support was set prior to testing and provided based on documentation in the student's official record.

Signed Administration and ASL Videos

Before conducting a signed administration for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, test administrators should read the specific guidelines for signing test content that are included in the General Instructions for Administering State Assessments to Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

ASL videos are offered as an online option for a signed administration, allowing the student to independently select and change the level of signing support during test administration. It is important to note, however, that ASL videos are available only 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). To provide appropriate support, the test administrator may sign test content in the same way as is done for paper tests and in the communication mode the student is most familiar with.

 Special Instructions and Considerations

  • A student who uses this designated support may need to complete the test in a setting that is separate from other students in order to eliminate distractions and ensure the confidentiality of the test.

  • Any type of oral administration in which the test administrator must view a secure state assessment requires that the test administrator sign a specific part of an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality. Responding to test questions, making notes about test questions, and discussing the content of the test at any time are prohibited.

  • It is the responsibility of the district and campus to determine the most appropriate way to group students in order to provide a proper test administration.

  • When providing an oral administration to a student taking a braille test, including STAAR online with screen-reader support for refreshable braille displays, test administrators should refer to the braille secure test instructions shipped with the braille materials.

  • Students for whom the LPAC recommends use of this support for any reading language arts (RLA) assessments may not be reclassified at the end of the school year. In addition, LPACs may not recommend designated supports for an EB student whose parents have denied bilingual or English as a second language (ESL) services. However, EB students who are approved by a different committee to receive this support for 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.

  • The revising passages and test questions in a paper test booklet for STAAR RLA tests may be read aloud to eligible students. The revising sections of the test will be identified with footers in the paper test booklet and cover sheets in the braille test booklets so that the test administrator knows which sections they may read aloud. Test administrators may NOT read aloud any part of the editing section (passages nor test questions) on the RLA tests.

  • Reference materials and dictionary entries embedded in the online testing platform are not read aloud by TTS; however, a test administrator trained in Oral Administration procedures may read these aloud at the student’s request.

  • For situations when a student experiences an unexpected or emergency situation (e.g., broken arm, broken glasses) immediately before the assessment, refer to the Accommodations in Unexpected or Emergency Situations policy.

If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Help Desk at (512) 463-9536.