Thanks for your continued involvement throughout the 2015 legislative session. There is no substitute for legislators hearing directly from parents and students about how their actions impact the classroom and holding them accountable for their decisions.
The number of STAAR tests remains the same - no bill passed during the 2015 session decreased the number tests. In fact, Texas still:
- Requires two more tests in high school and three more in grades 3-8 than required by federal law.
- Attaches high stakes - grade advancement or graduation - to test performance; most states do not have high stakes nor are they required by federal law.
Below is a short summary of bills passed that impact testing. Please visit the attached links for a more detailed summary.
SB 149: Graduation Committees
Allows individual graduation committees, an alternative path to graduation, for students who have passed all courses for graduation but have failed 1 or 2 end-of-course assessments. Unless renewed next legislative session, this bill expires on September 1, 2017.
HB 743 - Grades 3-8 Testing
Sets more reasonable time limitations on tests for younger children: require test design so 85% of 3rd-5th graders are able to complete the test in 120 minutes, and 85% of 6th-8th graders can finish tests in 180 minutes. Also requires tests be validated by an independent third party other than the vendor or TEA.
HB 1164 - High School Testing
Lots of early possibilities in this bill (check the longer description on our website), but in final form this calls for a broad study evaluating the best way to assess writing, and leaving the formulaic statewide standardized tests in place.
HB 2804 - Accountability and a New Commission
Does not reform STAAR tests, but does change the criteria on which schools and districts are rated: currently 95% based on STAAR test scores, this bill limits test scores to only 55% of the evaluation.
SB 313 - Review of the TEKS/Curriculum
Provides for the State Board of Education (SBOE) to conduct a review and possible modification to narrow the content and scope of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skill (TEKS) of each foundation curriculum subject.
READ DETAILED LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY
VOTES ON KEY BILLS