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John Cornyn
  State Board for Educator Certification

July 6, 1999

Mr. Dan Junell
General Counsel
State Board of Educator Certification
1001 Trinity
Austin, Texas 78701-2603


Dear Mr. Junell:

You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 125454.

The State Board for Educator Certification (the "state board") received a request to review all previous professional educator examinations. Representative samples of the records at issue were provided to this office for review.(1) You seek to withhold the questions and answers pursuant to section 552.122 of the Government Code.

Section 552.122 excepts from disclosure "[a] test item developed by an educational institution that is funded wholly or in part by state revenue." In Open Records Decision No. 537 (1990), this office determined that section 552.122 excepts the answer keys of a school district's exam questions. In Open Records Decision No. 626 (1994), this office determined that the term "test item" in section 552.122 includes any standard means by which an individual's or group's knowledge or ability in a particular area is evaluated, but does not encompass evaluations of an employee's overall job performance or suitability. Whether information falls within the section 552.122 exception must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Open Records Decision No. 626 at 6 (1994). Section 552.122 may apply where release of "test items" might compromise the effectiveness of future examinations. Id. at 4-5, see also Open Records Decision No. 118 (1976). We agree that the information at issue may be withheld from disclosure under section 552.122.

We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.


Ruth H. Soucy
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division


Ref: ID# 125454

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Elicia Lynn Chrietzberg
209 Pine Road
Mineola, Texas 75773
(w/o enclosures)



1. We assume that the "representative sample" of records submitted to this office is truly representative of the requested records as a whole. See Open Records Decision No. 499 (1988), 497 (1988). Here, we do not address any other requested records to the extent that those records contain substantially different types of information than that submitted to this office.

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