Test Security

In this Section

Test Security and Confidentiality

Maintaining the security and confidentiality of all components of the Texas Assessment Program is critical for ensuring fair and equal testing opportunities for all Texas students. Given the many uses of student performance data and the need to assure educators, parents, students, and the public that test results are meaningful and valid, it is imperative that all individuals participating in the Texas Assessment Program preserve the integrity of test content and student data through strict adherence to the instructions and procedures contained in these Coordinator Resources and the test administration materials.

The superintendent and campus principals in each school district, the chief administrative officer of each charter school, and the leadership of any private school administering state assessments, including December, spring, and June administrations as well as any field testing, mandatory sampling, and optional testing, must develop procedures to ensure test security and confidentiality. These administrators must also ensure that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Student Assessment Division is notified in accordance with assessment program reporting requirements of any conduct that potentially violates the security or confidentiality of an assessment. Failure to properly report that an individual has engaged in conduct that potentially violates the security or confidentiality of an assessment and failure to cooperate with TEA in an investigation are themselves violations and could result in disciplinary action.

District and campus testing coordinators are responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that all district personnel who participate in state assessments or handle secure testing materials meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the appropriate test administration materials, have been trained in test security and administration procedures at least once, and sign an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality.

  • Ensuring that all staff members who handle test materials have been trained prior to the administration and are made aware that the materials may contain secure test content and that any viewing, discussing, or recording of this confidential information is strictly prohibited.

  • Informing test administrators who have permission to view secure content for the purpose of providing an approved designated support or as part of the program-specific test administration process, including submitting student responses in the Data Entry Interface (DEI), that responding to test questions, recording the information they see, scoring an assessment, or discussing the content of an assessment at any time is strictly prohibited.

  • Ensuring that noncertified staff members who access secure materials or administer assessments are supervised by certified staff members. The certified staff member may be, for example, a supervising teacher, a campus principal or assistant principal, or a campus coordinator. The certified staff member must be made aware that if the noncertified staff member is involved in a violation of test security or confidentiality, the supervising certified staff member is subject to disciplinary action.

  • Verifying that procedures are in place to collect and promptly destroy test session IDs and student test tickets as well as any reference materials, scratch paper, graph paper, or recordings used during the test administration. Test tickets are not secure, but since they contain personally identifiable information, they are confidential and must be destroyed after testing is complete.

Secure Materials

All state-mandated, optional, field-test, and pilot assessment instruments included in the Texas Assessment Program are secure assessment instruments and include the following:

  • State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®)

  • STAAR Alternate 2

  • Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)

  • TELPAS Alternate

  • STAAR Interim Assessments

  • Texas Through-year Assessment Pilot (TTAP)

Test content and any student information used or obtained in the administration of an assessment are confidential and include the following:

  • online assessments

  • test session IDs

  • test booklets

  • secure test instructions

  • STAAR Alternate 2 image cards

  • completed STAAR Alternate 2 Scoring Documents

  • completed TELPAS Student Rating Rosters

  • completed TELPAS Writing Collection Documents

  • TELPAS calibration activities

  • completed TELPAS Alternate Observable Behaviors Inventories

Maintaining Security of Test Materials

Test security involves accounting for all secure materials before, during, and after each test administration. The Materials Control Form should be used to account for all secure paper materials. All secure test materials must be handled in strict accordance with the instructions contained in these Coordinator Resources and the test administration materials.

District and campus coordinators must identify a suitable location where secure test materials can be kept in locked storage when not in use. Access to these secure locations should be limited to no more than a few essential personnel, and these individuals should be the only people who have access to the storage area. District coordinators should regularly affirm that all campuses are following these storage requirements.