June 2017 Committee on Instruction Item 4

Discussion of Annual Audit Reports for Credit by Examination from Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin

June 22, 2017

COMMITTEE ON INSTRUCTION: DISCUSSION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: NO ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item provides an opportunity for the committee to discuss the annual audit reports submitted by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin regarding examinations used for credit by examination.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.023.

TEC, §28.023(a), requires that the State Board of Education (SBOE) establish guidelines that require examinations for credit or acceleration to thoroughly test comprehension of the information presented in the applicable grade level or subject. As a result, the SBOE established a process for the regular review and audit of examinations provided by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin for credit by examination and acceleration by examination.

BOARD RESPONSE: This item is presented for review and comment.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The SBOE adopted 19 TAC §74.24 that outlines general provisions for the administration of credit by examination to be effective September 1, 1996. In 2007, several discussion items regarding the process for the review of credit by examination were considered by the Committee on Instruction. As a result of those discussions, the rule was amended to be effective September 1, 2008, to add language requiring Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin to complete an independent audit of 20% of their assessments annually and to report the results to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The rule was amended to be effective May 11, 2014, to align with requirements of House Bill 2694 and Senate Bill (SB) 1365, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. In 2015, the rule was amended to be effective November 24, 2015 to align with requirements of SB 453, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, and to provide additional support and flexibility for students who are homeless or in substitute care in meeting high school graduation requirements.

FUTURE ACTION EXPECTED: None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: General provisions in 19 TAC §74.24 include the option for school districts to administer examinations developed by Texas Tech University or The University of Texas at Austin for credit for secondary school academic subjects.

During the February 2007 meeting of the Committee on Instruction, the committee chair instructed agency staff to request that the two institutions provide the information necessary for review of each of their examinations used for credit by examination. Correspondence was sent to the institutions requesting the review. Staff members from both universities responded that the process for aligning the examinations with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) was under way for some examinations and completed for others.

During the July 2007 committee meeting, public testimony raised additional concerns regarding the examinations. The committee chair asked staff to investigate the possibility of a third-party review of the updated examinations. During the September 2007 meeting, the committee instructed staff to draft proposed changes to the rule for action at the November 2007 meeting that would require an annual report by an outside auditor to confirm TEKS alignment of the examinations developed by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

During the January 2008 meeting, the SBOE adopted a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §74.24 that added language in subsection (a)(2) specifying that these two entities must ensure that their assessments are aligned with the TEKS, arrange for a third-party audit of 20% of their assessments annually, and report the results of each audit to TEA by May 31 of each year. In July 2009, TEA staff presented the first audit results. This item presents the annual audit results that were due to the agency May 31, 2017.

FISCAL IMPACT: None.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: None.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

Staff Members Responsible:
Monica Martinez, Associate Commissioner
Standards and Support Services

Shelly Ramos, Senior Director
Curriculum Standards and Student Support

Attachments:
I. Statutory Citation (PDF, 20KB)
II. Text of 19 TAC §74.24, Credit by Examination (PDF, 27KB)

Separate Exhibits:

I Audit summary from Texas Tech University
II. Audit summary from The University of Texas at Austin
(to be provided prior to the June 2017 SBOE meeting)