January 16, 2008
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
To resolve the conflict created by having Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) assessments scheduled for March 4, 2008, the same day as primary voting in Texas, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has developed a revised testing calendar. Two changes are being made to the original schedule: first, the TAKS exit level social studies retest is being moved from Friday, March 7, to Monday, March 3; and second, the TAKS tests that were scheduled to be administered from March 4 through March 6 are now scheduled to be administered from March 5 through March 7. As a result of these changes, no test administrations will occur on the day of the primary election, Tuesday, March 4.
This new testing schedule will address the following:
Districts will not be burdened with planning the logistics of serving as testing sites and polling places on the same day and at the same location.
Moving the exit level social studies retest from Friday, March 7, to Monday, March 3, affects the fewest number of students, approximately 10,000 statewide.
Three of the four exit level retests––English language arts, mathematics, and science––will be administered one day later but in the same order as originally scheduled.
The grade 10 English language arts primary and make-up administrations are still separated by one day. The primary administration is now scheduled for March 5, and the make-up is scheduled for March 7.
The Student Success Initiative (SSI) reading administrations are now scheduled for March 5, leaving March 6, 7, and 8 for make-up opportunities.
Out-of-school examinees taking an exit level retest in March will not be negatively affected by this schedule change. Students who have already registered for one or more retests will receive a follow-up letter from Pearson with the revised test administration date(s). Out-of-school examinees who plan to register for the retest onsite and arrive at school on the originally scheduled days will be permitted to take the retest needed.
Attached to this letter are the original and revised test administration schedules for the week of March 3; in addition, TEA will update the 2007–2008 testing calendar on the Student Assessment Division website. Pearson is revising the calendar of events to reflect this schedule change and will post the new calendar as soon as possible.
The Student Assessment Division will work with district testing coordinators on a case-by-case basis if there are problems with testing on either Monday, March 3, or Friday, March 7. Districts should submit a request in writing using the Request for Alternate Dates, Modified Scheduling, and Off-site Testing form located on the TEA website at:
I apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause; however, I hope that this schedule change will allow your students to demonstrate their best performance on TAKS. I believe it will also demonstrate to your students and community the importance of voting.
Commissioner of Education
cc: District testing coordinators
ESC testing coordinators