Math Sessions

Friday, November 18, 2016


Since the 3 - 8 math test has been shortened TEA has released the NEW blueprints.

Here is the communication from TEA regarding shortened test blueprints for STAAR for Grades 3-8 in Spring 2017. This communication summarizes all content areas. TEA has posted the new blueprints under TEA STAAR Resources.  Here is the TEA link for mathematics: Scroll down to Grade Level Mathematics Blueprint (posted 11/01/16).

TEA has decreased the number of test questions on each of the STAAR grades 3 - 8 assessments. Grades 3 - 8 math tests have been shortened by 14 questions each.  The decrease will spread proportionally across the reporting categories for each test. The change in the number of questions can be seen in the blueprints. Because the blueprint reduction was aplied proportionally across each test, the construct of what is assessed has not changed. Therefore the shortened tests can be equated and scaled using the same performance standards. However, the raw score for each assessment will shift because the total number of test questions has shifted. 

In 2017, TEA will resume embedding field test questions for STAAR grades 3 - 8. The number of embedded field test questions for mathematics, reading, science, and social studies has also been reduced from 8 questions to 6 questions. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lone Star Leadership Academy

Lone Star Leadership Academy - Call for Outstanding Student Nominations

Nominate your outstanding 4th-8th graders for the summer 2017 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps! Selected participants will travel to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio, or Houston/Galveston area to join delegations of other distinguished students from across Texas for a week of fun, learning, and leadership development. Each day, participants will get the opportunity to explore notable Texas sites, learn about unique careers from professionals, and work in small groups to develop specific leadership skills. Additionally, participants will improve their leadership abilities by gaining self-confidence and independence as well as developing new friendships with other high-achieving students from across the state. Nominees must be in 4th - 8th grade, maintain an 85 or higher average, demonstrate leadership ability, and be involved in school/community activities.

To nominate your outstanding 4th-8th graders, go to:

Fall Nomination Deadline: Friday, November 4, 2016.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


We will be offering a session for administrators and teachers to come and understand Index 2 and the importance of increasing progress of students. We will work together as a team to help you and your campus understand and pull in T-TESS. Check out the video below for more information.

SUBJECT: Important Changes to the Texas Assessment Program for the 2016–2017 School Year

Additional Flexibility Available in Online Administrations to Begin in March 2017
Beginning with the March 2017 administration of STAAR, students with disabilities and English language learners (ELLs) who are eligible for testing accommodations may receive those accommodations through an enhanced online version of STAAR. In addition to three types of embedded accommodations (text-to-speech, language and vocabulary supports, and content supports) that can be assigned on an individual student basis, the online version of STAAR will include enhanced accessibility features that are available to all students. These enhancements will allow all students to take the same online test form and eliminate the need for separate STAAR A and STAAR L test forms going forward. Therefore, STAAR A and STAAR L will both be administered for the last time in December 2016. This change also allows districts who choose to do so, to administer all grades and subjects of the general STAAR (English version only) tests online to any or all of their students.
Within the next several days, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will provide districts with preliminary guidance regarding students with disabilities whose individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans reflect that they are to take STAAR A in spring 2017. As language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) decisions are made in the spring of the school year, changes regarding STAAR L will be discussed in the LPAC Guide to Decision Making that will be released in December 2016. In addition, TEA will hold a TETN in late September to discuss these changes in greater detail.
Districts will begin to receive information this fall on how the changes will affect registration, online testing, scoring, and reporting. Districts will have opportunities to attend training on the changes to the STAAR Assessment Management System and the STAAR Online Testing Platform.
Prior to the spring 2017 administration of STAAR end-of-course (EOC) assessments, TEA intends to update the allowable substitute assessments and cut scores that can be used in place of the STAAR EOCs to meet graduation requirements. TEA is examining the degree of content overlap between the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and the following national tests:
·         the SAT suite of assessments (PSAT 8/9, 10, NMSQT, and the SAT)
·         the ACT and the ACT Aspire

After completion of the content overlap studies, TEA will determine what tests will be allowed as substitute assessments for graduation, along with the score requirement for each approved substitute.
Regarding the ACT, SAT, and PSAT, current Texas Administrative Code reflects those tests administered prior to the 2015–2016 school year. TEA anticipates no changes for the other currently approved substitutes (AP, IB, PLAN, and the TSI assessment).  
The STAAR Confidential Student Reports (CSRs) will be redesigned this fall, and the new reports will be available beginning with the spring 2017 STAAR administrations.
In order to comply with the mandates of House Bill 743, the STAAR assessments will be shortened so that 85 percent of students will be able to complete the assessment instrument within two hours in grades 3–5 and within three hours in grades 6–8. The STAAR assessments will include both operational and field-test items.
In August 2017, TEA will release the primary form of all 2017 STAAR general assessments.  All released tests will be posted on TEA’s Student Assessment Division website.

In order to minimize the amount of time raters spend in training and preparing to rate TELPAS listening and speaking, TEA is working with stakeholders to redesign the TELPAS listening and speaking assessments for implementation in 2017–2018. This year, TEA will conduct a pilot study of the new TELPAS listening and speaking assessments during the testing window for 2017 TELPAS reading. Information obtained from the pilot study will inform test development and administration policy decisions going forward. TEA will be accepting volunteers to participate in the pilot study. Districts will receive additional information in late September about the process of volunteering for the pilot study. If the volunteer sample is not representative, it may be necessary to select additional campuses for the pilot study. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Prerequisites for High School Math Courses Information, ESTAR/MSTAR Information, Supporting Documents for TEKS

Prerequisite Requirements for High School Mathematics Courses
The mathematics prerequisite course requirements changed with the implementation of revised Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for mathematics for high school courses beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. Prerequisite requirements for mathematics can be found in the TEKS for each course under the general requirements section. The word “recommended” has been removed from most prerequisites, therefore, in those cases listed prerequisite courses are required to be successfully completed before a student may enroll in a subsequent course.
Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74 provides additional clarification for prerequisite requirements: 
Foundation High School Program (§74.11(j))
Minimum High School Program, Recommended High School Program, and Distinguished Achievement Program (§74.71(k))

ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screeners and Diagnostic Assessments
As the new school year begins, please be aware of the availability of ESTAR (grades 2 - 4) and MSTAR (grades 5 - 8) Universal Screeners and Diagnostic Assessments, valuable tools to support instructional decision-making regarding students’ algebra-readiness. These tools can be accessed on the Texas Gateway at
Administration Windows
ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screeners
·         Fall: August 22, 2016 - October 14, 2016
·         Winter: January 9, 2017 - February 10, 2017
·         Spring: April 3, 2017 - May 5, 2017 
ESTAR/MSTAR Diagnostic Assessments
·         Fall: August 29, 2016 - October 21, 2016
·         Winter: January 16, 2017 - February 17, 2017
·         Spring: April 10, 2017 - May 12, 2017 
The ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screeners, Diagnostic Assessments, and professional development courses are available at no cost to all Texas public school districts. For account creation assistance, contact 
ESTAR/MSTAR Professional Development
Teachers are encouraged to complete the appropriate online professional development courses when using the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screeners and Diagnostic Assessments. The following online courses are available on the Texas Math Support Center (

TxAIR Update
The Texas Achievement Items Repository ( is a web-based tool provided at no cost to all Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. TxAIR enables teachers to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses on targeted math and science TEKS for grades 3-12.
For more information or assistance with using this resource for the 2016-2017 school year, please contact

Revised Resource – Supporting Information Documents for K-8
Supporting Information documents for the K-8 mathematics TEKS have been revised and can be found on the Texas Gateway at The revised documents are identified by “May 2016” in the footer. Note that the supporting information for student expectation 3(4)(K) has been revised by replacing “quotient” with “dividend” to bring consistency to the limitation on multiplication and division found elsewhere at this grade level.

New Resource – Supporting Information Documents for High School

Supporting Information documents for several high school mathematics courses are currently available on the Texas Gateway at including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Precalculus, Mathematics Models with Applications, and Advanced Quantitative Reasoning. Documents for Statistics and Algebraic Reasoning are in development and will be released in the near future. The Supporting Information documents are arranged as they appear in the Texas Administrative Code and provide further explanation of information found in the Side-by-Side TEKS Comparison documents. The Side-by-Side TEKS Comparison documents for those courses have been moved from the Texas Gateway, to the Resources for the Revised Mathematics TEKS on the TEA website located at


The following districts had one or more campuses earn all possible distinctions in the 2016 accountability ratings! AWESOME JOB!!!!
Brownsboro ISD
Elkhart ISD
Longview ISD
Malakoff ISD
Quitman ISD
Tatum ISD
Tyler ISD
Winnsboro ISD

Monday, August 22, 2016

TEA releases 2016 accountability ratings

The 2016 accountability ratings have been released and approximately 94% of school districts and charters across Texas have achieved the rating of Met Standard.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


The July 2016 STAAR Algebra I test will assess the TEKS as indicated in the new assessed curriculum documents and use the new blueprint, but will use only the “overlap” curriculum. Since the test is built to the new curriculum, students will used the new reference materials. There will not be any field test questions for the July administration. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Computer Science (CS) Certification Preparation Opportunity

In an effort to increase the number of certified computer science teachers in Texas, the University of Texas at Austin Center for STEM Education is offering a free online version of the WeTeach_CS  Certification Preparation course. This course launches June 14, and registration is available now.

WeTeach_CS Certification Prep is a comprehensive, six-week program that prepares educators to take and pass the CS certification test. It reviews all of the main concepts covered in the three certification domains: Software Design and Development, Programming Language topics, and Technology Applications. Teachers with at least some prior experience in coding or programming interested in becoming certified to teach Grades 8-12 Computer Science are eligible to attend. 

After the Computer Science certification test is passed and teachers have applied for the certification, a $1,000 stipend will be awarded by the Texas Regional Collaboratives (TRC) thanks to support from 100Kin10 and the TEA. For more information, please contact the University of Texas at Austin Center for STEM Education by following this link.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Statistics and Risk Management Training

Statistics and Risk Management Training informs participants about and provides a framework for teaching Statistics and Risk Management in the career and technical education (CTE) classroom. The course covers the general areas of describing data, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, regression, money flow, financial resources, data forecasting and management, fiscal stability, risk-management strategies, and production. The training is divided into six parts. Participants are expected to complete all six parts. Participants who successfully complete course activities and assessments earn 15 CPE credits per part for a total of 90 CPEs. 

Algebra 1 Scale Scores for 2015 - 2016 tests.

Use the link below to find the raw scores and the scale scores for the 2015-2016 tests. While the EOC documents at the bottom are titled December 2015, they are correct for the Spring 2016 tests. Let us know if you have questions. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

TEA has released a new site giving teachers and families more information regarding the STAAR testing grades 3 – 8 and EOC. The Texas Assessment Management System provides test administrators, educators, and families with the information and resources needed to prepare for and administer these assessments and to access assessment results and reports.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Texas Education Agency Updates
Mathematics Communications
Texas Education Agency
January 5, 2016
Foundation High School Program Rules
Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter B,
Graduation Requirements
Public Comment Period:  December 25, 2015 – January 23, 2016
Earliest Possible Date of Adoption:  January 2016 SBOE meeting
In November 2015, the State Board of Education approved for first reading and filing 
authorization proposed amendments to the Foundation High School Program graduation 
requirements in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, 
Subchapter B, Graduation Requirements. The proposed amendments would update the rules 
and align with recent legislative changes. The SBOE is scheduled to consider the proposed 
amendments for second reading and final adoption at its January 2016 meeting.
The official public comment period for proposed amendments to graduation requirements for
the Foundation High School Program is now open. Please visit
Proposed_State_Board_of_Education_Rules/ to view the proposed amendments and submit 
public comments.
Proposed New Personal Financial Literacy Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 113, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social 
Studies, Subchapter C, High School, §113.49, Personal Financial Literacy 
 (One-Half Credit), Adopted 2016
Public Comment Period: December 25, 2015 – January 23, 2016
Earliest Possible Date of Adoption: January 2016 SBOE meeting
In November 2015, the State Board of Education approved for first reading and filing 
authorization proposed Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a new Personal 
Financial Literacy course. If approved, the proposed new course would be available 
beginning in 2016-2017. The SBOE is scheduled to consider the proposed new 
Personal Financial Literacy TEKS for second 
reading and final adoption at its January 2016 meeting.
The official public comment period for the proposed Personal Financial Literacy TEKS is 
now open. Please visit
Proposed_State_Board_of_Education_Rules/ to view the proposed new TEKS and submit 
public comments.

New Resource – Vertical Alignment Chart Grade 3 – Statistics

A new Vertical Alignment Chart is currently available on the Gateway. This document does 
not supplant the other Vertical Alignment charts, but simply focuses on the probability and 
statistics standards for grades 3 – 8, Algebra I, Geometry, and Statistics. They are arranged
by the Statistics TEKS.

Texas SUCCESS – Think Through Math Update
Think Through Math (TTM) has been selected as the provider for Texas SUCCESS math 
resource for grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and Algebra I.
TTM is prepared to begin providing service once the contract is finalized. This contract will 
end on August 31, 2017. At this time, districts can begin planning for use of the selected 
program to provide accelerated instruction to students in grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and 
Algebra I. You can access additional information about the Texas SUCCESS Initiative with 
the link below.

New Resource – Supporting Information Documents

Supporting Information documents for grades K– 8 are currently available on the Gateway
 The documents are arranged by the TEKS and provide further explanations of the 
information that was included the Side-by-Side TEKS Comparison documents. These 
documents have replaced the Side-by-Side TEKS Comparison documents for grades K – 8, 
which have been removed from the Gateway.

ESTAR/MSTAR Winter Windows

The winter windows for the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screeners and Diagnostic 
 Assessments will open in early January. The dates for the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal 
Screener are January 11 – February 12, 2016. The Universal Screener assists 
teachers in determining if a student is at-risk for algebra readiness. 
The content in this screener does not cover all of the TEKS for the grade levels.
 The results of this screener should be used 
to guide instruction for whole class and interventions where appropriate.

The winter window dates for the ESTAR/MSTAR Diagnostic Assessments are 
January 18 – February 19, 2016. The Diagnostics Assessments are administered to 
students identified as being in need of additional support. They are designed to help
 teachers identify student misconceptions.

New Resource – Interactive Mathematics Glossary: the iPhone and iPad Apps

TEA’s Interactive Math Glossary is now available in the iTunes app store. The glossary is 
 designed to help teachers explore and understand mathematics vocabulary used in the 
grades K–8 Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Each glossary term is displayed in a
 four-quadrant Frayer Model. Go to

 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The 2015-2016 nomination and application windows for 
grade K-6 mathematics and science teachers for the Presidential 
Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching 
(PAEMST) program are open.The PAEMST awards are the nation's 
highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science.
Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration 
to their communities,and leaders in the improvement of mathematics 
and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been 
recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the 
United States, a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events 
and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the 
National Science Foundation. Awardees also join an active network of outstanding 
educators from throughout the nation.

Teachers must be signed up or nominated for the 2016 competition
by April 1, 2016. The application deadline is May 1, 2016.
If you know great teachers, encourage them to 
join this prestigious network of professionals. In Texas, 
eligible teachers who submit a completed application by 
May 1, 2016 will receive 20 CPE hours. Sign up to apply 
or nominate an educator at

For questions, contact Jo Ann Bilderback at or 512-463-9581.

As a courtesy to our readers the following additional Information has been included.

Research Science Institute

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
(MIT) co-sponsor the Research Science Institute (RSI) and are looking for talented 
11th grade Science Technology Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) students for a 
summer research program. Students can apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the
MIT campus June 26 – August 6, 2016. Participants will meet some of the world's most 
talented students and top scientists and have an opportunity to conduct research 
in exciting labs. The program is free to students except for travel to and from MIT. 
If you know a high school junior that may be interested in the program, take a 
look at the CEE website or RSI application materials, and more information 
about the program. Application information is available at 
Questions may be directed to Maite Ballestero, Executive Vice President, 
Programs & Administration,

Teacher Enrichment Program

The Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP) is the Center for Excellence 
in Education’s (CEE) program for middle and high school STEM teachers. 
TEP provides opportunities for rural and urban teachers to connect 
with experts from industry and academia to explore
cutting edge research and make meaningful professional links with 
direct benefits for themselves and their students.  All online resources and 
events are cost-free for all participants. TEP events are held in California, Florida,
Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. CEE 
invites interested teachers to visit the program website 
connect with scientists and engineers in their community through Bite of Science 
sessions and Teacher Roundtables and to explore a variety of online STEM resources.

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is an Internet-based applied math 
competition that awards scholarship prizes from $1,000 to $20,000 
to teams of high school juniors and seniors. The challenge takes place 
February 27 – 28, 2016. Students are required to solve an 
open-ended, realistic, math-modeling problem in 14 hours. 
Moody’s Mega Math 
Challenge is funded by the Moody Foundation and organized by 
the Society for Industrial and 
Applied Mathematics (SIAM). For more information, visit 

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Morath takes office as Texas Commissioner of Education

AUSTIN – Mike Morath was administered the oath of office today in Austin to become the new Commissioner of Education for the State of Texas.
Commissioner Morath was appointed to the position by Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 14, 2015. As Commissioner, he heads the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which oversees pre-kindergarten through high school education for approximately five million students enrolled in both traditional public schools and charter schools.
"I thank Gov. Abbott for the trust he has placed in me and look forward to working with him to continue strengthening our state’s public education system," said Commissioner Morath. "I am committed to ensuring that our education system provides all the children of Texas the opportunity to be successful in life."
Commissioner Morath previously served on the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) board of trustees for more than four years. A strong advocate of public education, Commissioner Morath graduated from Garland High School in the Garland Independent School District. Thanks to that great public school education, he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, summa cum laude, from George Washington University in two-and one-half years.
Among his priorities, Commissioner Morath will focus on supporting educators throughout the state, transitioning the state’s accountability system to an A-F framework, and improving the overall efficiency of TEA.
Commissioner Morath succeeds outgoing Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. Williams served in the position for more than three years.

The Commissioner of Education is a gubernatorial appointment and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Commissioner Morath’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation during the next legislative session in 2017.