TASB Legislative Update
"Both the House and Senate adopted the conference committee report for HB 5 (Aycock/Patrick, Dan) over the weekend, sending the bill to the governor. HB 5 would, among other things:
- Reduce end-of-course exams from 15 to 5: Algebra I, U.S. history, biology, English I and English II (reading and writing would be combined into one exam for both English I and II).
- Replace the current minimum, recommended and distinguished graduation plans with a foundation graduation plan consisting of four English credits; three science, social studies and math credits; two foreign language/computer programming credits; one fine arts credit; one physical education credit; and five elective credits.
- Create a distinguished achievement and endorsement graduation plans, including endorsements in STEM, business & industry, public services, multi-disciplinary studies, and arts & humanities.
- Require four science credits and algebra II for automatic state college admissions under the top 10 percent rule and state financial aid, and allow all students to be eligible to apply for Texas colleges.
- Allow districts to administer state-developed Algebra II and English III exams for diagnostic purposes.
- Establish an A through F accountability rating system for school districts beginning with the 2016-17 school year,while campuses will remain under the existing exemplary, recognized, acceptable and unacceptable system.
- Prohibit schools from pulling students out of class for more than 10 percent of class time for test preparation or remediation without parental consent.
- Require the SBOE to adopt at least six advanced CTE courses, including courses in personal financial literacy and statistics, that satisfy the fourth credit in math.
- Require all students entering grade 9 to select an endorsement, allow students to change endorsements at any time, and allow students to opt into the foundation plan with parental consent after grade 10.
- Prohibits schools from administering more than two benchmark tests per student per subject, not to include college readiness exams such as the SAT or ACT.
- Require TEA to minimize the effect test administration has on a campus and student instruction."