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Standardized testing reform update

April 18, 2013

The Texas legislature, in response to a revolt against high stakes testing, is considering legislation that modifies the current accountability system and will result in signficant changes in education.  HB 5 affects every public school in Texas, and HB 2824 specifically addresses Coppell and the schools of the High Performance School Consortium.

HB 5: Public School Accountability

HB 5 was approved by the House (passed 142 – 2) and is scheduled for public hearing in the Senate on April 16, 2013.  This bill makes significant changes to education in Texas.  If you are interested in lending your support to this bill, please go to the website.

  • End of Course Exams
    • Reduces the current number of End of Course Exams from 15 to 5.
    • End of Course Exams scores not used towards GPA, class ranking or college admittance.
  • Creates a new default high school diploma plan, “Foundation,” and provides students a way to earn various endorsements and distinctions for completing more rigorous coursework.
    • The foundation plan requires a minimum of:
      • four credits in Language Arts
      • three credits in Math
      • three credits in Science
      • three credits in Social Studies
      • two credits in a foreign language/computer programming
      • seven elective credits
      • one fine arts credit
      • one PE credit
    • The distinguished level of achievement requires:
      • everything above, except:
      • four credits in Math
      • four credits in Science
    • Endorsements offered for: STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts & Humanities, Multidisciplinary studies
    • Performance acknowledgement for outstanding performance on AP, IB, dual credit, SAT, ACT, PSAT
  • Creates an A-F accountability system to replace the current system of Exemplary, Acceptable, etc.
    • Some of the factors in determining the score include program evaluations for fine arts, community/parent involvement, 21st century workforce, second language acquisition, digital learning environment, and gifted and talented education.

HB 2824: Texas High Performance School Consortium

Independent of HB5, education in Coppell is poised to change as our district is part of the High Performance School Consortium, which was formed in 2011 to inform policymakers on improving student learning through the development of innovative next-generation learning standards and assessment and accountability systems.  Representative Bennett Ratliff, a previous trustee on the CISD school board, has filed HB 2824 which seeks to authorize the High Performance School Consortium to begin implementing changes.

What can Coppell expect as part of the High Performance School Consortium (HPSC)?

There will be different stages of development over the course of several years, according to Dr. Turner.  The first step is for the HPSC to get out of the existing system to allow for room to innovate and improve without needing to fulfill the current assessment requirements.  The HPSC would continue to assess based on the federal standards of No Child Left Behind, instead of the more intrusive state requirements.  Subsequently, the HPSC would develop assessment tools that meet the State’s need for assessment and our community standards for accountability.    Until HB 5 and HB 2824 are resolved, “we are in a holding pattern,” affirms Dr. Turner, who traveles frequently to Austin to testify and advocate for improvement in education.  There is, after all, no reason to concentrate on developing solutions until the legislature authorizes the HPSC to do so.  Wondering what to do in the meantime?  You might consider contacting Rep Ratliff to support his efforts.

School Districts in the High Performance School Consortium: Anderson-Shiro Consolidated ISD, Clear Creek ISD, College Station ISD, Coppell ISD, Duncanville ISD, Eanes ISD, Glen Rose ISD, Guthrie Common, Harlingen CISD, Highland Park ISD, Irving ISD, Klein ISD, Lake Travis ISD, Lancaster ISD, Lewisville ISD, McAllen ISD, McKinney ISD, Northwest ISD, Prosper ISD, Richardson ISD, Roscoe ISD, Round Rock ISD, White Oak ISD.

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