Testing Window: March 30, 2020 - April 21, 2020
STAAR Alternate 2
STAAR Alternate 2 is an assessment based on alternate academic standards and is designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities receiving special education services. Additionally, the students must meet participation requirements. STAAR Alternate 2 was developed to meet federal requirements of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ESEA requires that all students be assessed in specific grades and subjects throughout their academic career, whereas IDEA requires that students with disabilities have access to the same standards as their non-disabled peers and be included in statewide assessments. STAAR Alternate 2, which was redesigned as a result of state legislation passed in 2013, is a standardized assessment administered individually to each eligible student. Students must meet specific requirements to take STAAR Alternate 2, which is available for the same grades and subjects assessed in the general STAAR program.
ARD Committee Responsibilities
Admissions, review, and dismissal (ARD) committees ensure that a student meets all mandated participation requirements, which were developed by TEA and reviewed by educator advisory committees and educator review committees. If the student has a significant cognitive disability that requires the student to access the grade-level TEKS through prerequisite skills, then the ARD committee should review the participation requirements for STAAR Alternate 2. If the ARD committee determines that a student meets all of the participation requirements, the student should be assessed with STAAR Alternate 2.
Medical Exceptions and No Authentic Academic Response (NAAR)
If a student has a severe medical condition or a cognitive impairment that prevents him or her from completing the assessment, the student will not be required to complete the assessment and an alternate score code may be used. ARD committees should use the eligibility requirement documents to determine if a student’s assessment can be coded as a Medical Exception or as No Authentic Academic Response (NAAR). The eligibility requirement documents can be accessed online through the links in the NOTES column on this page. For both exceptions, the ARD committee will make the determination after reviewing medical and educational records. The decision must be documented in the student’s IEP along with evidence to support the determination.