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Support Bills on the House and Senate Calendars Next Week

Contact Your Legislators in support of the following two major bills.

HB 5 by Aycock, as substituted in Senate Education, is set on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, April 29. The bill may be amended on the Senate floor. Once the bill has been voted out of the Senate, it goes back to the full House. The House can accept the amended bill, or not. If the House does not accept the amended bill it will go to conference committee where final decisions regarding content will be made by appointed members of each chamber. The bill will go before both chambers for an up or down vote (no amendments).

Please contact your Senator in support of this bill and the importance of keeping the following features of the bill:

  • limit the number of end-of-course exams to no more than five tests
  • keep endorsement options for students to take courses in areas of personal interest

HB 2836 by Ratliff, as substituted in House Public Education, is set on the House General Calendar for Monday, April 29.

Please contact your House Representative in support of this bill.

This bill addresses the testing system by reigning in the amount, scope, and time of state-mandated testing at grades 3-8 and ensuring the exams’ reliability.

The bill ensures that students can learn in depth the essential or “readiness” standards of the TEKS. The “supporting” standards can be used for diagnostic or reporting purposes but not as student achievement indicators. The supporting standards are introduced or referenced in the subject and for the grade level for which the test is administered but that are identified as TEKS primarily of a different subject or for a different grade level.

The bill limits state assessments for grades 3-8 to align almost with those required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The number of assessments would drop from 17 to 15 for these six grade levels:

Grade 3       2 - reading and math
Grade 4       3 - reading, math, and writing
Grade 5       3 - reading, math, and science
Grade 6       2 - reading and math
Grade 7       2 - reading and math (no writing)
Grade 8       3 - reading, math, and science (no social studies)

The bill requires assessments to be designed for most students to be able to complete them in 120 minutes for students in grades 3-5 and in 180 minutes for students in grades 6-8. The exam couldn’t last longer than eight hours or occur on more than one day.

The bill requires an independent evaluation of state assessments’ validity and reliability.