Chapter 230. Professional Educator Preparation and Certification

Subchapter C. Assessment of Educators


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter C issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.031, 21.045(a)(1), and 21.048(a), and the Texas Occupations Code, 54.003, unless otherwise noted.


230.21. Educator Assessment.

(a)  A candidate seeking certification as an educator must pass the examination(s) required by the Texas Education Code (TEC), 21.048, and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) in 233.1(e) of this title (relating to General Authority) and shall not retake an examination more than four times, unless the limitation is waived for good cause. The burden of proof shall be upon the candidate to demonstrate good cause.

(1)  For the purposes of the retake limitation described by the TEC, 21.048, an examination retake is defined as a second or subsequent attempt to pass any examination required for the issuance of a certificate, including an individual core subject examination that is part of the overall examination required for the issuance of a Core Subjects certificate as described in 233.2 of this title (relating to Core Subjects; Generalist). An examination score that is cancelled is not considered an examination retake.

(2)  Good cause is:

(A)  the candidate's highest score on an examination is within one conditional standard error of measurement (CSEM) of passing and the candidate has completed 50 clock-hours of educational activities. CSEMs will be published annually on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website;

(B)  the candidate's highest score on an examination is within two CSEMs of passing and the candidate has completed 100 clock-hours of educational activities;

(C)  the candidate's highest score on an examination is within three CSEMs of passing and the candidate has completed 150 clock-hours of educational activities;

(D)  the candidate's highest score on an examination is not within three CSEMs of passing and the candidate has completed 200 clock-hours of educational activities;

(E)  if the candidate needs a waiver for more than one of the individual core subject examinations that are part of the overall examination required for the issuance of a Core Subjects certificate, the candidate has completed the number of clock-hours of educational activities required for each individual core subject examination as described in subparagraphs (A)-(D) of this paragraph up to a maximum of 300 clock-hours. The number of clock-hours for each examination may be divided equally based on the number of examinations in the waiver request, but the number of clock-hours for an examination shall not be less than 50; or

(F)  if a CSEM is not appropriate for an examination, the TEA staff will identify individuals who are familiar and knowledgeable with the examination content to review the candidate's performance on the five most recent examinations, identify the deficit competency or competencies, and determine the number of clock-hours of educational activities required.

(3)  Educational activities are defined as:

(A)  institutes, workshops, seminars, conferences, interactive distance learning, video conferencing, online activities, undergraduate courses, graduate courses, training programs, in-service, or staff development given by an approved continuing professional education provider or sponsor, pursuant to 232.17 of this title (relating to Pre-Approved Professional Education Provider or Sponsor) and 232.19 of this title (relating to Approval of Private Companies, Private Entities, and Individuals), or an approved educator preparation program (EPP), pursuant to 228.10 of this title (relating to Approval Process); and

(B)  being directly related to the knowledge and skills included in the certification examination competency or competencies in which the candidate answered less than 70 percent of competency questions correctly. The formula for identifying a deficit competency is the combined total of correct answers for each competency on the five most recent examinations divided by the combined total of questions for each competency on the five most recent examinations.

(4)  Documentation of educational activities that a candidate must submit includes:

(A)  the provider, sponsor, or program's name, address, telephone number, and email address. The TEA staff may contact the provider, sponsor, or program to verify an educational activity;

(B)  the name of the educational activity (e.g., course title, course number);

(C)  the competency or competencies addressed by the educational activity as determined by the formula described in paragraph (3)(B) of this subsection;

(D)  the provider, sponsor, or program's description of the educational activity (e.g., syllabus, course outline, program of study); and

(E)  the provider, sponsor, or program's written verification of the candidate's completion of the educational activity (e.g., transcript, certificate of completion). The written verification must include:

(i)  the provider, sponsor, or program's name;

(ii)  the candidate's name;

(iii)  the name of the educational activity;

(iv)  the date(s) of the educational activity; and

(v)  the number of clock-hours completed for the educational activity. Clock-hours completed before the most recent examination attempt or after a request for a waiver is submitted shall not be included. One semester credit hour earned at an accredited institution of higher education is equivalent to 15 clock-hours.

(5)  To request a waiver of the limitation, a candidate must meet the following conditions:

(A)  the candidate is otherwise eligible to take an examination. A candidate seeking a certificate based on completion of an EPP must have the approval of an EPP to request a waiver;

(B)  beginning September 1, 2016, the candidate pays the non-refundable waiver request fee of $160;

(C)  the candidate requests the waiver of the limitation in writing on forms developed by the TEA staff; and

(D)  the request for the waiver is postmarked not earlier than:

(i)  45 calendar days after an unsuccessful attempt at the fourth retake of an examination as defined in the TEC, 21.048; or

(ii)  90 calendar days after the date of the most recent denied waiver of the limitation request; or

(iii)  180 calendar days after the date of the most recent unsuccessful examination attempt that was the result of the most recently approved request for waiver of the limitation.

(6)  The TEA staff shall administratively approve each application that meets the criteria specified in paragraphs (2)-(5) of this subsection.

(7)  An applicant who does not meet the criteria in paragraphs (2)-(5) of this subsection may appeal to the SBEC for a final determination of good cause. A determination by the SBEC is final and may not be appealed.

(b)  A candidate seeking a standard certificate as an educator based on completion of an approved EPP may take the appropriate certification examination(s) required by subsection (a) of this section only at such time as the EPP determines the candidate's readiness to take the examinations, or upon successful completion of the EPP, whichever comes first.

(c)  The holder of a lifetime Texas certificate effective before February 1, 1986, must pass examinations prescribed by the SBEC to be eligible for continued certification, unless the individual has passed the Texas Examination of Current Administrators and Teachers (TECAT).

(d)  The commissioner of education approves the satisfactory level of performance required for certification examinations, and the SBEC approves a schedule of examination fees and a plan for administering the examinations.

(e)  The appropriate examination(s) required for certification are specified in the figure provided in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC 230.21(e)

(f)  Scores from examinations required under this title must be made available to the examinee, the TEA staff, and, if appropriate, the EPP from which the examinee will seek a recommendation for certification.

(g)  The following provisions concern test security and confidential integrity.

(1)  An educator who participates in the development, design, construction, review, field testing, or validation of an examination shall not reveal or cause to be revealed the contents of the examination to any other person.

(2)  An educator who administers an examination shall not:

(A)  allow or cause an unauthorized person to view any part of the examination;

(B)  copy, reproduce, or cause to be copied or reproduced any part of the examination;

(C)  reveal or cause to be revealed the contents of the examination;

(D)  correct, alter, or cause to be corrected or altered any response to a test item contained in the examination;

(E)  provide assistance with any response to a test item contained in the examination or cause assistance to be provided; or

(F)  deviate from the rules governing administration of the examination.

(3)  An educator who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section is subject to sanction in accordance with the provisions of the TEC, 21.041(b)(7), and Chapter 249 of this title (relating to Disciplinary Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases).

(4)  An educator who is an examinee shall not:

(A)  copy, reproduce, or cause to be copied or reproduced any test item contained in the examination;

(B)  provide assistance with any response to a test item contained in the examination, or cause assistance to be provided;

(C)  solicit or accept assistance with any response to a test item contained in the examination;

(D)  deviate from the rules governing administration of the examination; or

(E)  otherwise engage in conduct that amounts to cheating, deception, or fraud.

(5)  An educator who violates this subsection is subject to:

(A)  sanction in accordance with the provisions of the TEC, 21.041(b)(7), and Chapter 249 of this title;

(B)  voiding of a score from an examination in which a violation specified in this subsection occurred; and

(C)  disallowance and exclusion from future examinations either in perpetuity or for a period of time that serves the best interests of the education profession.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this 230.21 issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.031; 21.041(a), (b)(1), (4), (7), and (8), and (c); 21.045(a)(1); 21.048; and the Texas Occupations Code, 54.003.

Source: The provisions of this 230.21 adopted to be effective August 12, 2012, 37 TexReg 5753; amended to be effective August 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 6191.


230.23. Testing Accommodations for Persons with Dyslexia.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall provide examination accommodations for persons with dyslexia.

(1)  For each licensing examination administered, the TEA and its testing vendor shall provide reasonable examination accommodations to an examinee diagnosed as having dyslexia as that term is defined in the Texas Education Code, 51.970.

(2)  The TEA and its testing vendor shall provide examination accommodations to an examinee diagnosed with dyslexia, provided acceptable medical or diagnostic documentation has been received and reviewed by the vendor prior to the administration of the examination.

Source: The provisions of this 230.23 adopted to be effective August 12, 2012, 37 TexReg 5753.


230.25. Test Exemptions for Persons with a Hearing Impairment.

(a)  A candidate who has a hearing impairment may request exemption from educator certification and competence examinations that have not been field-tested for appropriateness, reliability, and validity as applied to persons with hearing impairments.

(b)  A request for such an exemption shall include:

(1)  a report by a licensed audiologist documenting that the candidate has a hearing impairment so severe that the person cannot process written linguistic information. The report may not be dated more than one year from the date of the request for the exemption and should address the relationship between the candidate's age at the onset or diagnosis of hearing loss and the candidate's ability to process written linguistic information; and

(2)  a recommendation for exemption and certification of the candidate by an approved Texas educator preparation program (EPP). The recommendation shall be based on the EPP's determination of the candidate's qualification for the exemption and competency in each certification class and category in which certification is sought. The EPP shall make and document its determination of educator standards competency, as follows:

(A)  by reviewing and approving transcripts from an accredited institution of higher education that demonstrate that the candidate has completed 24 semester credit hours in the educator standards, including 12 semester credit hours of upper division coursework, and documenting that the coursework is aligned to the Texas educator standards;

(B)  if an EPP uses an alternative assessment to measure competency in any certification class and category in which a certification is being sought, by documenting the method and validity of the means of assessment, the results of the assessment, and the alignment of the assessment to the applicable Texas educator standards; and

(C)  for the Texas pedagogy and professional responsibilities examination, by documenting successful completion of EPP coursework and training covering educator standards for the grade level for which certification is sought.

(c)  The TEC, 21.048, provides that the SBEC may not administer a certification examination that has not been field-tested for appropriateness, reliability, and validity to a person who is unable to process linguistic information. An educator who has been granted such an exemption may not subsequently take any other such certification examination without submitting a new audiologist's report that addresses the prior audiologist's report and documents that the educator is now able to process written linguistic information.

(d)  This section does not affect the procedures for one-year certificates, extensions, and permits based on out-of-state credentials pursuant to 230.113 of this title (relating to Requirements for Texas Certificates Based on Certification from Other States or Territories of the United States), but, to be issued a standard certificate, a person must either satisfy the applicable examination requirements or be recommended for certification by an EPP.

(e)  As with other EPP completion and admission documentation under 228.40 of this title (relating to Assessment and Evaluation of Candidates for Certification and Program Improvement), all documentation required under this section shall be retained by an EPP for five years and is subject to audit by Texas Education Agency staff.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this 230.25 issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.031; 21.041(a), (b)(1), (4), (7), and (8), and (c); 21.045(a)(1); 21.048; and the Texas Occupations Code, 54.003.

Source: The provisions of this 230.25 adopted to be effective August 12, 2012, 37 TexReg 5753; amended to be effective August 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 6191.


For more information, email sbecrules@tea.texas.gov.