HOUSE BILLS AS OF 1/15/2023
The following bills have been filed to date in the Texas House of Representatives. Our position is always subject to change as bills progress and legislative analysis or hearings take place. If you are aware of any other accountability or assessment bills, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HB 748, 1225 – Would require schools to administer assessment instruments in paper form upon parental request
Position: Two identical bills. TPERN supports this parental rights bill.
HB 977, HB 37 – Creating the Texas Commission on Assessment and Accountability
Position: Oppose. These are two essentially identical bills proposing to create a commission on assessment and accountability to report recommendations on statutory changes in December 2024. TPERN opposes this bill as it is simply a cover for selecting a body to recommend a plan to integrate assessment into the classroom on an ongoing basis.
Position: Partially Support. This bill would permit local schools to designate assessments other than the current EOCs to be used as secondary exit-level assessments. It also limits assessments to those required by federal law, with a provision automatically matching any federal reductions in assessment. While we encourage local control and better assessments, we remain opposed to exit level requirements based on assessments. With the potential use of national assessments, we recognize a clear danger that these often college oriented assessments will have passage levels set to college ready standards rather than workforce or completed course level standards. Satisfactory performance is delegated to the commission, so that is not within local control. In addition, the bill still appears to require the development of Texas assessments for each of these subjects, enriching vendors and duplicating the work of assessment. The bill does not address concerns over timely formation of IGCs or early graduation via IGC.
HB 1278 – Limiting Assessment Requirements to Mirror Federal Law (Herrero – D)
Position: Support. While obviously we want an end to STAAR, to the extent is exists limiting it to only those grade levels and subjects required by federal law is a positive development.
HB 83 – Authorizing a Writing Portfolio to Replace STAAR Writing Questions (Zweiner – )
Position: Support. This bill would allow local districts to create their own unique portfolio process for assessing writing and use this process in the place of non-multiple choice questions in STAAR. We support local choice, assessment processes designed locally, and the removal of as much of STAAR as possible.
HB 337 – Limiting High School EOCs to those Required by Federal Law (Bucy – D)
Position: Oppose. We assess HB 1278 to be a better and further reaching limitation on assessment. This bill only applies to high school and explicitly allows local districts to voluntarily reimpose English II and US History exit level requirements which are not required assessments under federal law.
HB 579 – Creating Exemption Process and Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (Burns – R)
Position: Tentatively Support. We will want to see the legislative analysis on this bill, but it appears to create a pathway for parents of kids who would otherwise take STAAR ALT2 to request “exemption.” It gives the ARD the power to deny that request though. It also limits that right to “to the extent consistent with federal law.” It creates an alternative assessment method for those students who are exempted focusing on progress on goals on the IEP. The biggest problem we see is that “exemption” isn’t permitted under federal law, whereas, an opt out clause would be permitted under ESSA. We think this is a well intentioned bill but it may be undermined by the use of a reviewable exemption process rather than a unhindered right to opt out.
HB 680 – Proposing interim testing and adaptive, growth-based assessment instruments (Shaheen – R)
Position: Oppose. This is an extremely dangerous bill that we must watch carefully. It is probably a session premature, although it could pass as a precursor to the Commission proposed in HB 977. While this bill does permit adaptive assessment, which is generally a positive, it creates through year testing, with frequency to be determined by the commissioner.