TCTA | Testing bills approved by House
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Testing bills approved by House

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Two more bills related to state standardized tests have passed the House and are headed to the Senate. Another, reducing state testing to only those assessments required by federal law, passed several days ago.

HB 2802 by Rep. Jay Dean requires the commissioner of education to apply to the US Department of Education for a waiver of federal testing requirements during a year in which a statewide disaster significantly disrupts school district operations in a majority of districts in the state. If the waiver is not approved, the assessments will be administered, but the results could not be used for district or campus accountability purposes, or for student promotion or graduation.

HB 2344 by Rep. Erin Zwiener allows districts to use a portfolio method to assess writing performance as an alternative to the non-multiple choice portions of the STAAR or English I or II end-of-course exams. Districts choosing this option must design the portfolio assessment in consultation with an institution of higher education and submit it to TEA for approval. A student's portfolio assessment must be scored by a classroom teacher on the same campus as the student.

As we reported previously, a House bill that would actually reduce the number of STAAR tests, HB 764, is already in the Senate but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Other recent bills slipping in under the House deadline include:

  • HB 547 by Rep. James Frank, which would give districts the option to allow home-schooled students to participate in UIL activities, and
  • HB 2022 by Rep. Drew Darby, providing an open enrollment period for TRS-Care for retirees who opted out when the retiree health insurance plan underwent significant revisions in 2017, but who wish to re-enroll.