DAR File No. 39340
This rule was published in the May 15, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 10) of the Utah State Bulletin.
Requirements for Assessments of Student Achievement
Notice of Proposed Rule
DAR File No.: 39340
Filed: 05/01/2015 04:07:09 PM
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
Rule R277-404 is amended to provide language that clarifies a parent's/guardian's right to excuse a parent's/guardian's child from taking a state administered assessment, consistent with the provisions in S.B. 204, Parental Rights in Public Education Amendments, 2015 General Session.
Summary of the rule or change:
Changes to Rule R277-404 include clarifying the definition of "College readiness assessment" to include the American College Testing exam, (ACT); defining "State administered assessment," and adding significant new language in Section R277-404-6 that provides for a parent/guardian to exempt a parent's child from state administered assessments.
State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
- Subsection 53A-1-401(3)
- Sections 53A-1-603 through 53A-1-611
- Subsection 53A-15-1403(9)(b)
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
There may be minimal costs to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) to develop materials required by state law. Any costs will be absorbed within existing budgets and by existing USOE staff.
Changes within definitions and new language providing for exemption of students from state administered assessments will likely not result in a cost or savings to local government.
Changes within definitions and new language providing for exemption of students from state administered assessments will likely not result in a cost or savings to small businesses.
persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:
Changes within definitions and new language providing for exemption of students from state administered assessments will likely not result in a cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
Changes within definitions and new language providing for exemption of students from state administered assessments will likely not result in any compliance costs for affected persons.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
I have reviewed this rule and I believe that there is likely no fiscal impact on businesses.
Brad C. Smith, State Superintendent
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:Education
250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
- Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
This rule may become effective on:
Angela Stallings, Associate Superintendent, Policy and Communication
R277. Education, Administration.
R277-404. Requirements for Assessments of Student Achievement.
A. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.
B. "Benchmark reading assessment" means an assessment determined by the Board for students in grade 1 through 3 and administered to students at the beginning, midpoint and end of year;
C. "College readiness assessment" means an assessment adopted by the Board that includes a college admissions test that provides an assessment of language arts, mathematics, and science, that is most commonly used by local universities to assess student preparation for college. The college readiness assessment may include the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and a battery of assessments that is predictive of success in higher education. "College readiness assessment" includes the American College Testing exam, (ACT).
D. "Educator" means an individual licensed under Section 53A-6-104 and who meets the requirements of R277-501.
E. "English Learner (EL) student" means a student who is learning in English as a second language.
F. "English language proficiency assessment" means an assessment designated by the USOE and designed to measure the acquisition of the academic English language for English Learners.
G. "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)," 20 U.S.C. 1232g, means a federal law designed to protect the privacy of students' education records. The law is hereby incorporated by reference.
H. "Individualized Education Program (IEP)" means an individualized instructional and assessment plan for students who are eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004.
I. "LEA" means local education agency, including local school boards/ public school districts and schools, and charter schools.
J. "National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)" is the national achievement assessment administered by the United States Department of Education to measure and track student academic progress.
K. "Online Writing Assessment" means a Board-designated online assessment to measure writing performance for students in grades 3 through 11.
L. "Pre-post" means an assessment administered at the beginning of the school year and at the end of the school year to determine individual student growth in academic proficiency which has occurred during the school year.
M. "State administered assessment" means a formative, interim, summative SAGE, Utah alternate assessment, benchmark reading assessment, EXPLORE, PLAN or the ACT.
M]N. "Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence
(SAGE)" means a summative computer adaptive assessment for
English language arts grades 3 through 11; mathematics grades 3
through 8, and Secondary I, II, and III; science grades 4 through
8, earth science, biology, physics and chemistry.
N]O. "Section 504 accommodation plan" required by
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, means a plan
designed to accommodate an individual who has been determined, as a
result of an evaluation, to have a physical or mental impairment
that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
O]P. "Summative adaptive assessments" means
assessments administered upon completion of instruction to assess a
student's achievement. The assessments are administered online
under the direct supervision of a licensed educator and are
designed to identify student achievement on the standards for the
respective grade and course. The assessments measure the full range
of student ability by adapting to each student's responses,
selecting more difficult questions when a student answers correctly
and less difficult questions when a student answers
P]Q. "USOE" means the Utah State Office of
Q]R. "Utah alternate assessment" means an assessment
instrument designated by the USOE for students in special education
with disabilities so severe they are not able to participate in the
components of U-PASS even with assessment accommodations or
modifications. The Utah alternative assessment measures progress on
the Utah core instructional goals and objectives in the
student's individual education program (IEP).
R]S. "Utah eTranscript and Record Exchange (UTREx)"
means a system that allows individual detailed student records to
be exchanged electronically between public education LEAs and the
USOE, and allows electronic transcripts to be sent to any
post-secondary institution, private or public, in-state or
out-of-state, that participates in the e-transcript service.
S]T. "Utah Performance Assessment System for Students
(1) summative adaptive assessments of students in grades 3 through 12 in basic skills courses;
(2) an online writing assessment in grades 3 through 11, as part of SAGE;
(3) college readiness assessments; and
(4) summative assessment of students in grade 3 to measure reading grade level using grade 3 SAGE English Language Arts.
R277-404-2. Authority and Purpose.
A. This rule is authorized by Utah
Constitution Article X, Section 3 which vests general control and
supervision of public education in the Board, Sections 53A-1-603
through 53A-1-611 which direct the Board to adopt rules for the
maintenance and administration of U-PASS,
Subsection 53A-15-1403(9)(6) which requires the Board to adopt
rules to establish a statewide procedure for excusing a student
from taking certain assessments, and
S]section 53A-1-401(3) which allows the Board to adopt rules
in accordance with its responsibilities.
B. The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent definitions and to assign responsibilities and procedures for a Board developed and directed comprehensive assessment system for all students, as required by state and federal law.
R277-404-3. Board Responsibilities.
A. The Board shall maintain a comprehensive assessment system for all students in grades K-12. This assessment system shall include:
(1) summative adaptive assessments in English language arts for grades 3 through 11; mathematics for grades 3 through 8; secondary math 1, 2, and 3; and science for grades 4 through 8; earth systems, biology, physics and chemistry;
(2) Online Writing Assessment for grades 3 through 11;
(3) pre-post kindergarten assessment for kindergarten students as determined by the LEA;
(4) one benchmark reading assessment approved by the Board for students in grades 1 through 3 and administered to students at the beginning, midpoint and end of year;
(5) grade 3 end of year summative reading assessment using grade 3 SAGE English Language Arts;
(6) Utah's alternate assessment, for eligible students with disabilities;
(7) an English language proficiency test;
(8) National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP);
(9) college readiness assessments for grade 11 and optional college and career readiness assessments in grade 8 or 9 and 10, as determined by the LEA; and
(10) reporting by the USOE of U-PASS results to include:
(a) student performance based on information that is disaggregated with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, English proficiency, eligibility for special education services, and free or reduced price school lunch status;
(b) security features to maintain the integrity of the system, including statewide uniform assessment dates, assessment administration protocols, and training; and
(c) summative adaptive assessment results disseminated by USOE to LEAs, parents, and others, as appropriate, consistent with FERPA.
B. The Board shall provide specific rules, administrative guidelines, timelines, procedures, and assessment ethics training and requirements for all required assessments.
R277-404-4. LEA Responsibilities.
A. LEAs shall develop a comprehensive assessment system plan to include the assessments described in R277-404-3A. This plan shall, at a minimum, include:
(1) professional development for educators to fully implement the assessment system;
(2) training for educators and appropriate paraprofessionals in the requirements of assessment administration ethics; and
(3) training for educators and appropriate paraprofessionals to utilize assessment results effectively to inform instruction; and
(4) adequate oversight of test administration to ensure compliance with Section 53A-1-603(1) as follows:
(a) LEAs or online providers shall test all enrolled students unless students have a written parental excuse under Section 53A-15-1403(9);
(b) Students participating in the Statewide Online Education Program shall be assessed consistent with Section 53A-15-1210; and
(c) Third party vendors or contractors may not administer or supervise U-PASS assessments.
B. LEAs shall make all policies and procedures consistent with the law, Board rules for standardized assessment administration, and the USOE Testing Ethics Policy, approved by the Board August 8, 2014.
C. At least once each school year, LEAs shall provide professional development for all educators, administrators, and standardized assessment administrators concerning guidelines and procedures for standardized assessment administration, including educator responsibility for assessment security and proper professional practices.
D. LEA assessment staff shall use the USOE Testing Ethics Policy in providing training for all assessment administrators/proctors.
E. LEAs may not release state assessment data publicly until authorized to do so by the USOE.
R277-404-5. School Responsibilities.
A. LEAs/schools shall require educators and assessment administrators/proctors to individually sign the Testing Ethics signature page provided by the USOE acknowledging or assuring that the educator administers assessments consistent with ethics and protocol requirements.
B. All educators and assessment administrators shall conduct assessment preparation, supervise assessment administration, provide assessment results and complete error resolution.
C. All educators and assessment administrators/proctors shall securely handle and return all protected assessment materials, where instructed, in strict accordance with the procedures and directions specified in assessment administration manuals, LEA rules and policies, Board rules, USOE Testing Ethics Policy, and state applications of federal requirements for funding.
D. A student's IEP, EL, or Section 504 team shall determine an individual student's participation in statewide assessments.
R277-404-6. Student and Parent Participation in Student Assessments in Public Schools; Parental Exclusion from Testing and Safe Harbor Provisions.
A. Parents are primarily responsible for their children's education and have the constitutional right to determine which aspects of public education, including assessment systems, in which their children participate. Parents may further exercise their inherent rights to exempt their children from a state administered assessment without further consequence by an LEA.
A]B. [ All ]LEAs shall administer [ the comprehensive]state administered assessments [ system ]to all students unless
(1) the Utah alternat[
ive]e assessment is approved for specific students consistent
with federal law
and as specified in a student's IEP; or
unless ]students are excused by a parent or
guardian under Section 53A-15-1403(9) and as provided in this rule.
C. A parent may exercise the right to exempt their child from a state administered assessment. Upon exercising the right to exempt a child from a state administered assessment under this provision, an LEA may not impose an adverse consequence on a child as a result of the exercise of rights under this provision. In order to exercise the right to exempt a child from a state administered assessment under this provision and insure the protections of this provision, a parent shall annually complete the Board approved parent excuse form a minimum of one (1) day prior to the administration of the state administered assessment and provide the form to the responsible school.
D. School grading, teacher evaluations, and student progress reports or grades may not be negatively impacted by students excused from taking a state administered assessment.
E. Any assessment not mandated by the Board as defined in R277-404-1M, the administration of such assessments, and the consequence of taking or failing to take such assessments shall be governed by policies to be adopted by each LEA.
B]F. [ An LEA educator]LEAs shall provide a student's individual test results
and scores to the student's parent[ /legal]
or guardian[ consistent with FERPA.]
upon request and consistent with the protection of student
G. An LEA may not reward a student for taking a state administered assessment as defined in R277-404-1M.
R277-404-7. Public Education Employee Compliance with Assessment Requirements, Protocols, and Security.
A. Educators, test administrators/proctors, administrators, and school employees may not:
(1) provide students directly or indirectly with specific questions, answers, or the content of any specific item in a standardized assessment prior to assessment administration;
(2) download, copy, print, take pictures of or make any facsimile of protected assessment material prior to, during or after assessment administration without express permission of the USOE and LEA administrators;
(3) change, alter or amend any student online or paper response or any other standardized assessment materials at any time in such a way that alters the student's intended response;
(4) use any prior form of any standardized assessment (including pilot assessment materials) that has not been released by the USOE in assessment preparation without express permission of the USOE and LEA administrators;
(5) violate any specific assessment administrative procedure specified in the assessment administration manual, or violate any state or LEA standardized assessment policy or procedure, or violate any procedure specified in the USOE Testing Ethics Policy;
(6) fail to administer a state required assessment;
(7) fail to administer a state required assessment within the designated assessment window;
(8) submit falsified data;
(9) allow students to copy, reproduce, or photograph assessment items or components; or
(10) knowingly do anything that would affect the security, validity, or reliability of standardized assessment scores of any individual student, class, or school.
B. A school employee shall promptly report all assessment violations or irregularities to a building administrator, an LEA superintendent or director, or the USOE.
C. Educators who violate these rules or assessment protocols are subject to Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission or Board disciplinary action consistent with R277-515.
D. All assessment materials, questions and student responses for required assessments shall be designated protected, consistent with Section 63G-2-305, until released by the USOE.
E. Each LEA shall ensure that all assessment content is secured so that only authorized personnel have access and that assessment materials are returned to USOE following testing, as required by the USOE. Individual educators or school employees may not retain or distribute test materials, in either paper or electronic form, for purposes inconsistent with ethical test administration or beyond the time period allowed for test administration.
R277-404-8. Time Periods for Assessment Administration.
A. LEA educators or trained employees shall administer assessments required under R277-404-3 consistent with the following schedule:
(1) All summative adaptive assessments, an online writing assessment and a Utah alternative assessment (elementary and secondary, English language arts, math, science) within the USOE annually designated assessment windows.
(2) The English language proficiency assessment:
(a) LEA educators or trained employees shall administer the assessment annually to all English Learner students identified as Level 1 Entering, Level 2 Beginning, Level 3 Developing, Level 4 Expanding, or enrolled for the first time in the LEA at any time during the school year to show student progress; and
(b) LEA educators or trained employees shall submit English language proficiency assessment materials to the USOE-identified scoring provider for scanning and scoring on a schedule defined by the USOE.
(3) LEA educators or trained employees shall administer pre-post kindergarten assessment for kindergarten students as determined by the LEA during assessment windows determined by the LEA.
(4) LEA educators or trained employees shall administer one benchmark reading assessment determined by the Board for grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 students in the beginning, midpoint, and end of the school year.
(5) LEA educators or trained employees shall administer grade 3 end of year summative reading assessment using grade 3 SAGE English Language Arts.
(6) LEA educators or trained employees shall administer NAEP assessments determined and required annually by the United States Department of Education and administered to students as directed by United States Department of Education.
B. LEA educators or trained employees shall complete all required assessment procedures prior to the end of the USOE-defined assessment window(s).
C. LEAs that have alternative schedules shall submit an annual testing plan to the USOE by September 1 annually. The plan shall:
(1) set dates for summative adaptive assessment administration for courses taught face to face or online;
(2) set dates to assess students at the point in the course where students have had approximately the same amount of instructional time as students on a traditional full year schedule; and
(3) provide a course level assessment schedule to the USOE before instruction begins for the course.
R277-404-9. Data Exchanges.
A. The USOE IT Section shall communicate regularly with LEAs regarding required formats for electronic submission of required data.
B. LEAs shall update UTREx data using the processes and according to schedule(s) determined by the USOE.
C. LEAs shall ensure that any computer software for maintaining or submitting LEA data is compatible with data reporting requirements as determined in R277-484.
D. The USOE shall provide directions to all LEAs detailing the data exchange requirements for each assessment.
E. Each LEA shall verify that all the requirements of the USOE-provided directions have been satisfied.
F. Consistent with Utah law, the USOE shall return assessment results from all required assessments to the school before the end of the school year.
KEY: assessment, student achievement
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [
November 10, 2014]2015
Notice of Continuation: September 13, 2013
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X Sec 3; 53A-1-603 through 53A-1-611; 53A-1-401(3)
More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.
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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com. For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.