HB 500 addresses the transition from TAKS to end-of-course (EOC) exams. The bill also addresses some areas of concern about the EOC assessments. Below is a summary of information from TASB about HB 500:
- removing the requirement that an EOC exam score count as 15 percent of a final course grade. Instead, districts would adopt local policies that address how scores on EOC exams would be linked with course grades;
- providing flexibility by allowing recommended and minimum graduation plan students to opt to meet standards established by the commissioner of education on certain EOC exams, in lieu of meeting the current cumulative score requirements;
- streamlining rules on retaking EOC exams by making EOC retakes optional, but not mandatory if a student fails to meet the passing standard; and
- allowing 9th grade students in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 cohorts to satisfy graduation requirements by passing the exit-level TAKS or passing the EOC exams required for their particular graduation plans. These two cohorts of students must still take all EOCs, thus data will be available for districts to utilize during the transition period.
Amendments to the bill would:
- allow an ARD committee to determine whether a special education student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on EOC exams to receive a diploma;
- clarify notice requirements for students entering 8th grade during the 2010-11 school year;
- prohibit TEA from using a projection measure as a representation of an actual level of annual improvement in student achievement;
- clarify assessment administration to fifth- and eighth-grade students who are taking classes for which they will receive high school credit;
- require the commissioner to seek a waiver from federal assessment requirements; and
- create a pilot program in which certain students in grades three through eight would have reduced assessment requirements.
HB 500 was passed on the third reading. One more vote will be necessary and then the bill will be sent to the senate.