Shortly after TCTA sent a letter to Commissioner Morath requesting that he clarify to the field that TELPAS writing samples do not need to be handwritten, and that the TELPAS testing window be extended, TEA issued an updated Spring 2021 Assessment Guidance (2/25/21) doing exactly that.
In TEA’s Spring 2021 Assessment Guidance (2/25/21), in answer to a frequently asked question “Can TELPAS writing samples be collected for students who are receiving remote instruction?”, TEA’s response was “Yes, writing samples should reflect authentic classroom instruction, including remote learning in the current environment; therefore, writing samples may be typed or handwritten.”
Additionally, in answer to the question “How long are the extended testing windows for spring and summer 2021?”, TEA’s response was “The testing window for all TELPAS tests (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) has been extended to a 14-week window (Feb. 22–May 28).”
The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System is a state standardized assessment that TEA created to annually assess the progress that English learners make. Students are assessed in four language domains — listening, speaking, reading and writing. The collection of writing samples as part of TELPAS is required in grades 2-12.
TCTA is greatly appreciative of the commissioner’s responsiveness to TCTA members’ concerns about their ability to collect the writing samples required by TELPAS, given the varied learning environments students are experiencing due to the pandemic.