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House Public Education Committee Passes Six Bills, including HB 1164 Writing Assessment Bill

04.09.2015 — On Thursday, April 9, the House Public Education Committee voted the following bills out of committee:

  • HB 1164 by Gary VanDeaver – would specify that a writing sample submitted with an assessment instrument could not be used to assess a student’s writing for purposes of accountability, grade promotion, or graduation criteria. The assessment of a student's writing would be governed by new Education Code 39.0264, which would require each school district to assess students in grades 4 and 7 and at the end of English I and II secondary-level courses in accordance with the writing TEKS. A district could use any method the district deems appropriate for this assessment, including portfolio assessment.
  • HB 218 by Marisa Márquez – would require that a teacher assigned to a bilingual classroom that uses one of three programs models (transitional bilingual/early exit, transitional bilingual/late exit, or dual language immersion/one-way) be appropriately certified by SBEC. It would allow a district that uses a dual language immersion/two-way program model to assign different teachers to the language other than English component of the program and to the English component.
  • HB 744 by Dan Huberty – would eliminate the clause “on a school campus” from current law that allows a school board to purchase insurance against bodily injury sustained by students training for or engaging in interschool athletic competition or engaging in school-sponsored activities.
  • HB 1497 by Matt Schaefer – would allow a school board to issue a permit to a person who will teach only career and technical education based on qualifications certified by the district’s superintendent. The person would have to: demonstrate subject matter expertise through professional work experience, formal training and education, or a combination; undergo a criminal background check; obtain at least 20 hours of classroom management training; and comply with continuing education requirements.
  • HB 1804 by Elliott Naishtat – would require campuses and open-enrollment charter schools to give notice to the educational decision-maker and caseworker for a child in substitute care regarding events that may significantly impact the education of the child. 
  • HB 1993 by J.D. Sheffield – would allow a school district that uses an electronic platform to communicate student grade and performance information to parents to permit parents to sign required notices of student performance electronically so long as the district retains a record verifying the parent’s acknowledgment of the required notice. A district that accepts electronic signatures would be required to offer parents the option to provide a handwritten signature.