Overview

Targeting the 2 Percent (T2%) aims to improve the instruction, content knowledge, and academic achievement of Texas students transitioning from assessments based on modified standards to the general state assessment, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®).

Outcomes

Targeted outcomes for students transitioning from modified assessments to the STAAR® include improvements in (1) instruction, (2) content knowledge acquisition, and (3) academic achievement.

Project Design

Purpose

Assessments based on modified standards for students served by special education can no longer be used for accountability purposes. Beginning in the 2014–2015 school year, Texas students who had previously been tested with a modified standardized state assessment (i.e., 2% of students) transitioned to the STAAR®. The U.S. Department of Education has indicated that with the onset of better instruction and supports, the more widespread use of universal design for learning, new technologies, and better research on accommodations, the use of modified examinations is no longer warranted.

Participation in the assessment system drives a variety of life-altering opportunities, such as accessing the general education curriculum, graduating with a regular high school diploma, and entry into postsecondary education. As such, it is critical that students with disabilities and those at risk for academic failure fully participate in an assessment system that is both challenging and broadly accessible. The Texas Education Agency intends to hold all students to the same high expectations for achieving the standards and learning targets to ensure college and career readiness. Expectations for Texas educators who support and instruct students who struggle include teaching grade-level content standards, providing accommodations and supplementary aid and services during instruction to help students access grade-level content, and including all students in rigorous instruc­tional activities.

Procedures

In conjunction with the Texas Education Agency, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk has developed the T2% support center to develop educators’ instructional effectiveness with students with disabilities and learning difficulties. 

The T2% support center offers the following:

  • Research-based products, materials, and resources that local education agencies can use to provide research-based instruction to students with disabilities and learning difficulties

  • Online resources for teachers, administrators, and other instructional support providers to help students successfully transition to and succeed with the standards-based curriculum and general assessment

Grab and Go Mini-Lessons

These mini-lessons are structured around the five essential components of reading instruction— phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The lessons can be used with students whose data show a need in a specific component. Students build knowledge as lessons progress from simple to more complex skills. The lessons are appropriate for use by all teachers of reading (general education and special education teachers, and teachers of English language learners, students with dyslexia, gifted-and-talented students, at-risk students, etc.). 

The lessons incorporate the features of effective instruction—explicit instruction with modeling, systematic instruction with scaffolding, multiple opportunities for practice, and immediate and corrective feedback. The implementation of these features is a direct, explicit approach that offers students many opportunities to practice and master the content. 

Links to instructional videos are included in the materials section of many of the lessons as an optional teacher resource. 

The videos and lessons can be used in conjunction with professional learning communities (PLCs) on a campus. A suggested protocol is for teachers to examine individual student data and then select a lesson and video within a reading component to review and build upon their instructional knowledge. Next, teachers could lead the lesson and then observe PLC team members teaching the same lesson. The PLC would then meet to discuss the lesson and provide feedback.

View and download the mini-lessons on the Texas Gateway:

Research Briefs

This collection of 11 professional briefs were written by professors and researchers to support evidence-based instructional practices. Topics include the five essential components of reading, grouping practices, peer supports, instructional considerations for dyslexia, English language learners, and literacy instruction for students with autism.

Visit the Texas Gateway to view and download the research briefs.

Professional Learning Communities Facilitator's Guide

Download the PLC facilitator's guide, which was developed by Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast at Florida State University.

Logo for Targeting the 2 Percent

Contact Information

Vanessa Cortez
Project Manager
vcortez@austin.utexas.edu

Principal Investigators

  • Colleen Reutebuch

Collaborative Partners

Funding Agency

Partner Logo for Targeting the 2 Percent