Originally published on 6.17.13 – updated on 9.6.22


“Keep for the Historical Record: Texas Will Rue the Day – HB 866 & HB 5”
by Donna Garner

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Excerpts from this article:


[UPDATE FROM DONNA GARNER ON 9.6.22: A high-school in my local area of Texas has just opened a $31.5 Million Career and Technical Education Center (CTE). This is an entire CTE wing with “all the bells and whistles” – something right out of Star Wars! Of course, the CTE wing requires its own administrative and teaching personnel.

In years past, this school district was known for its high academic performance; and new people moving into the area would do everything possible to put their children into this school district. Students learned to write and read well in K-12 and had scholarships and job opportunities galore.

Ironically at the same time that the $31.5 Million CTE wing is being so highly publicized, English teachers (who normally have their students writing frequent essays and research papers which are carefully evaluated to help students gain writing expertise) are struggling for their personal survival.

These high-school teachers have student loads this year of well over 170 to 187 students per teacher. Anyone and everyone knows that high-school English teachers must not have student loads of more than 125 to 135 students, or they will not physically be able to assign and evaluate frequent writing assignments thoroughly.  

Why are English teachers’ class loads so extremely high this year?  The budget would not permit the hiring of enough English teachers to meet the enrollment needs, and this decision was announced to the teachers way last school year before the real teacher shortages surfaced this year. The decision by the administration was based strictly on dollar issues.  

In other words, the school district spent $31.5 Million on the CTE wing (with CTE administrators and teachers) but did not have the money to hire enough English teachers to make sure that students learn the all-important, foundational, academic skills needed to be successful in life.

As I said way back in 2013 when HB 866 and HB 5 were passed, “This legislation put Texas on a path to dumb down its standards; Texas children will pay the price; our state will suffer under the flood of poorly educated adults; Texas will rue the day when authentic education reform was completely destroyed by the 83rd Legislative Session.”


I am very disappointed to report that Gov. Rick Perry signed both HB 866 and HB 5.  Between these two bills, Texas, which was considered by many across this nation to be the bellwether state on education, has now dumbed down its standards.  The public school children of Texas will pay the price along with Texas colleges/universities and the workforce which will suffer under the flood of poorly educated adults.  I believe that Texas will rue this day when authentic education reform in our state was completely destroyed by the 83rd Legislative Session. – Donna Garner

Bills Gov. Perry Has Signed:  http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Reports/Report.aspx?LegSess=83R&ID=signedbygov

HB 866 – The destruction of the “measuring stick” at each grade level

To read HB 866:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB866


This bill means that the STAAR tests in math, reading, writing, social studies, and science will not be given in each grade level to all students.

How will parents know whether their students have mastered the Type #1 TEKS in each grade level unless the Type #1 STAAR tests (an objective measurement – a type of “measuring stick”) are given at the end of each grade level?

To understand the terms “Type #1 and Type #2,” please go to this link:  http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/type-1-and-type-2-two-completely-different-philosophies-of?xg_source=activity

How will parents know whether their child’s teacher has actually taught the new Type #1 TEKS and taught them well if there is no objective measurement outside the teacher’s own grading system?

What if the child’s teacher taught Type #2 curriculum materials instead (e.g., Guided Reading, CSCOPE, Safarai Montage, TASA iCLOUD, Lead4Ward, Pat Jacoby’s AuthenticLearning.com, Expeditionary Learning, etc.) in the “off” testing years?  How will parents know before it is too late and their child has been indoctrinated and/or “dumbed down”?

What if parents find out too late that their Suzy Q. had teachers in Grades 5, 6, and 7 who taught Type #2 lessons instead of the Type #1 TEKS?  Example:  Type #2 — no systematic teaching of phonemic awareness/phonics, no systematic teaching of grammar/usage/ correct spelling/cursive writing, no emphasis on learning the four math functions to automaticity  –

Now Suzy Q. is in Grade 8 and is faced with failure on the STAAR tests because she does not know the Type #1 TEKS elements.  She is several grade levels behind.  She made passing grades under her Type #2 teachers, but now that Suzy Q. is confronted with Type #1 STAAR tests based upon what Suzy Q. should have been taught all along, she is in almost a hopeless situation.  This same scenario could happen in all of the grade levels where the STAAR tests are NOT administered.  “What gets tested gets taught.  What gets measured gets treasured.”

Math – 3, 5, 8 Math – 4, 6, 7
Reading – 3, 5, 8 Reading – 4, 6, 7
Writing – 4, 7 3, 5, 6, 8
Soc. Studies – 8 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Science – 5, 8 3, 4, 6, 7




Quote from this article:

Before today, Texas was the only state in the entire United States that had it right.  We had traditional Type #1 curriculum standards and Type #1 STAAR/EOC’s at each grade level/each course to hold everyone accountable to Type #1.  Now because of HB 5, the great strides made by Texas will be lost as more and more students drop out of the rigorous courses and sink to the lowered expectations of HB 5.   

“HB 5 Signed by Gov. Perry Today: Texas Public Schools Thrown Into Chaos”

by Donna Garner


With Gov. Perry having signed HB 5 today and that bill now becoming education law in our state, the future demise of academic achievement in Texas public schools has been sealed by the 83rd Legislative Session.  What a terrible legacy for them to leave behind!


Mark my word:  In a very few years, Texas public schools will land right back in Judge Dietz’s court with another court case being filed based upon discrimination.

HB 5 will completely change Texas’ present 4 x 4 classrooms.  [To read more about the the plan that was in place in Texas up until today, please go to “Texas’ New Graduation Plan” updated on 10.30.12 —  http://educationviews.org/texas-new-graduation-plan-2/  ]

Before today, almost all Texas high-school student (10th graders on down) were required to take 4 years of English/Science/Math/Social Studies; and at-risk students were beginning to make great strides in closing the achievement gap by being stretched academically.  The 4 x 4 plan was meant “to raise all boats” academically and would eventually have put at-risk students on the path to college/workforce readiness.

However, HB 5 will set up a two-track system – (1) the 5 endorsement/applied courses track and (2)  the college-bound academic track.  Unfortunately, the at-risk students — many of whom are minorities without sufficient parental involvement — will undoubtedly end up in the applied courses track where expectations will be lowered and numerous “escape routes” will be provided.

HB 5 will change our present integrated and academically challenging  4 x 4 Texas classrooms into segregated classrooms with narrowed future opportunities for at-risk students.


I also predict that in a very few years, parents, the public, college/university professors, and the education establishment will be screaming because the graduates walking across our stages will be totally unprepared for college and/or the workplace. More low-information voters will emerge who vote with their emotions rather than with reason and the ability to analyze logically.

All of the whiners who have begged for HB 5 to be passed and signed into law and who have complained about the 4 x 4 graduation requirements and the 15 required STAAR/End-of-Course tests will be terribly upset when the harsh realities of HB 5 finally set in.

For one thing, these whiners will be aghast when they actually read the 100+ pages of HB 5 (as I have done) because many of the requirements are to go into effect this coming school year – 2013-2014.

What this year’s legislators in the 83rd Legislative Session do not understand is that it has taken school administrators and counselors years to meet the mandates of the 82nd Legislative Session.  This meant getting all 10th graders on down acquainted with the new curriculum standards (TEKS) and knowledgeable about the 4 x 4 graduation plan along with the many new elective choices.

Pre-enrollment has already taken place way back in January and February for the upcoming 2013-14 school year, and most teachers have already been assigned their teaching duties so that they can prepare over the summer.  However, HB 5 will require schools to perform “fruit-basket-turn-over” during the summer months at a time when most school students and their parents are out-of-pocket.  How are counselors going to be able to meet with the students and their parents BEFORE school starts in the fall in order to implement the 2013-2014 requirements of HB 5?


Under HB 5, superintendents and administrators will now have to reorganize completely their school environments. They will have to create the 5 endorsement/applied courses track, and they will have to find certified teachers to teach them. Where will they find certified teachers to teach the many Career/Technology classes and myriads of other required courses under the 5 endorsements?  The costs to expand facilities for the 5 endorsements will be astronomical and will have to be borne by the taxpayers.

Under HB 5, all high schools will be forced to run simultaneously two completely different, full-blown tracks in their school program  — (1) the 5 endorsement/applied courses track and (2) the college-bound academic track.  Scheduling of students will be a nightmare because college-bound students will also seek various endorsements from the 5 endorsement choices, and those courses will have to be made available.  Some of those may be offered only one period a day and will undoubtedly fall during the time that AP/IB courses are scheduled.

Schools are already stretched very thin as they have tried to increase the academic rigor of their 4 x 4 classes; but under HB 5, school personnel will find themselves being forced to spend huge amounts of time, effort, and money to implement the 5 endorsement/applied courses track.  This will end up forcing educators to take their eyes off the goal of strengthening their academic courses.

Again, HB 5 will mean the dumbing down of our Texas public schools and the demise of the present 4 x 4 plan that is just now beginning to reap some good academic results in students from 10th grade on down.

What a pity that the legislators got impatient and did not wait until the “old TEKS” and the TAKS tests built upon them had become a thing of the past.  This year’s juniors were the last class to have to take the TAKS.  After this school year, schools would have only had to give up 4 hours each for the STAAR/EOC tests. Now under HB 5 (and the companion bills), the STAAR/EOC’s will take 8 hours each to administer.

The new curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted since May 2008 are specific for each grade level and for each course.  Students, teachers, and parents have all known from the first day of class what it is that students are supposed to learn in each class; and the STAAR/EOC’s test those elements.

Now under HB 5, only teachers in the “on-STAAR/EOC years” will be under scrutiny by the administrators and the public. The other teachers in the “off-STAAR/EOC years” will not be held accountable.

How unfair for those teachers who are assigned the “on-STAAR/EOC years” because they cannot be reassured that the teachers before them have taken seriously the teaching of the TEKS and have taught students the prerequisite skills.

The lack of individual accountability at each grade level/each course will free up teachers in the “off-STAAR/EOC years” to teach Type #2 (e.g., Common Core Standards, CSCOPE, TASA iCLOUD, Safari Montage, Webtools2.0, etc.) without anyone knowing it because the “measuring stick” of the Type #1 STAAR/EOC tests has been destroyed by HB 5.

[To learn more about the two philosophies of education – Type #1 and Type #2 — please go to: http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/type-1-and-type-2-two-completely-different-philosophies-of?xg_source=activity ]

Under HB 5, Texas high-school students will still have to pass the 5 EOC’s to graduate; but in essence, so many escape routes away from having to pass the STAAR/EOC’s are to be created that teachers and students alike are not going to take the Type #1 TEKS very seriously.

So a student fails…just take a remediated community college course with a dumbed down assessment that will supplant the EOC and the TEKS…or drop an endorsement…or get parental permission to dumb down even further…or take easy dual credit courses…or without passing EOC’s, enter community college through the “back door” using special circumstances because community colleges are forbidden to keep students out because of not passing EOC’s.

All of these escape routes and loosey-goosey STAAR/EOC testing requirements will end up producing Texas public school students who are unprepared for the next grade level/course level.  At the end of the road will be graduates who walk across the stage without the prerequisite skills needed for the future.


Before today, Texas was the only state in the entire United States that had it right.  We had traditional Type #1 curriculum standards and Type #1 STAAR/EOC’s at each grade level/each course to hold everyone accountable to Type #1.  Now because of HB 5, the great strides made by Texas will be lost as more and more students drop out of the rigorous courses and sink to the lowered expectations of HB 5.

Please keep reading to see the damage that HB 5 will do to our Texas public school students:


To look up HB 5 on Texas Legislature Online, please go to this link:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB5

Authors: Aycock/Deshotel/Davis, John/Villarreal/Callegari


Now the 83rd Legislative Session has passed HB 5 (containing 100 plus pages) which reduces the number of STAAR/EOC (End-of-Course) tests from 15 to 5.  Only the following tests will count toward graduation:

English I (Writing and Reading to be tested in same test)

English II (Writing and Reading to be tested in same test)

Algebra I


  1. S. History

Because the TEKS (adopted in 2008 through 2012) are Type #1, the Texas Education Code mandates that the STAAR/EOC’s must also be Type #1.  Therefore, these five courses (English I, II, Algebra I, Biology, and U. S. History) by law are definitely aligned with the new Type #1 TEKS as verified by SBOE members who have taken the tests.

However, under HB 5, the following EOC’s will no longer count for graduation; and by dropping them, teachers in these courses will, unfortunately, be free to teach Type #2 without the public’s knowledge:


English III (Writing and Reading)

Algebra II




World Geography

World History


It is the “measuring stick” (the Type #1 STAAR/EOC’s) that pressures teachers to teach the new TEKS so that their students can pass the state-mandated tests.  Without that pressure on teachers, they could easily teach Type #2 lessons (such as in CSCOPE and Common Core Standards).  Parents and the public will have no way to know whether students are being taught the rigorous, knowledge-based, academic Type #1 TEKS in the “off-EOC courses” or are instead being taught Type #2 in those courses.

It is in World Geography and World History that the major religions are taught; and under HB 5, teachers will be free to teach Type #2 without any accountability because their students will not be required to take the World Geography and World History EOC’s.

HB 5 says that each district must provide Algebra II for students who choose to take the course, but there is no requirement for students to take the Algebra II STAAR/EOC.  Again, without the STAAR/EOC to hold teachers accountable to Type #1, almost anything could be taught.


HB 5 basically under-emphasizes the STAAR/EOC’s, thus reducing their number to 5 tests and also reducing their importance.  Will students care whether they pass them or not?  Will teachers care whether students pass them or not?  Will anyone care whether or not the Type #1 TEKS (upon which the STAAR/EOC’s are based) are taught?

Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the STAAR/End-of-Course tests will be administered only in Algebra I (with aid of technology), biology, English I, English II, and U. S. History.

English I and II must test reading and writing in the same test and must provide a single score. Out of necessity, the English I and II STAAR/EOC’s will have to be administered six weeks before the end of the spring semester so as to give the evaluators time to score the writing portion. This means that the TEKS content material covered in the last six weeks of the year in English I and II will not be tested on the English I and II STAAR/EOC’s.  Did the Texas Legislators even give that any thought when they came up with their bright idea to test both reading and writing on the same English I and II tests?

HB 5 requires the TEA to release the scores on the STAAR/EOC’s no longer than 21 days after they are administered.  The school district must disclose to each district teacher the scores of the students taught by the teacher in the subjects tested.

Beginning in 2013-2014, a student’s scores on the STAAR/EOC’s may not be used to determine a student’s class rank, entitlement to automatic college admission, nor as a sole factor in admitting a student to a Texas college or university.  However, institutions of higher learning may take into consideration the student’s  STAAR/EOC’s scores in addition to other criteria.

The Algebra II and English III STAAR/EOC tests are optional and can be administered no earlier than the second week in May.  However, the test scores will not be used for accountability purposes by the TEA for a school campus or school district; by the school district to evaluate teachers; to determine a student’s final course grade or for class rank; for purposes of admission to an institution of higher education;  or to determine eligibility for a TEXAS grant. In other words, the Algebra II and English III STAAR/EOC’s are meaningless; and because of that, students will not try hard to do well on them.

In the 2012-2013 school year, the test questions and answers on the STAAR/EOC’s will be released after the last testing administration.

STAAR/EOC’s have to be built upon a 100-point grading scale. Any parts of the test that are not subject to that scale must be aligned with a conversion chart. Students have to pass all required STAAR/EOC’s to be able to graduate.

Beginning in 2014-2013, a student may not receive a high school diploma until the student has performed satisfactorily on the required STAAR/EOC’s.

The school district may not administer to any student more than two benchmark assessments to prepare the student for the corresponding STAAR/EOC.


The present New Plan consists of 4 years each of English, Science, Social Studies, and Math with 26 credits required.  However, HB 5’s Foundation plan consists of only 22 credits:

PRESENT NEW PLAN – 4 X 4 X 4 X 4   — 26 credits required

FOUNDATION PLAN – 4 X 3 X 2 X 3 – 22 credits required

4 English / Language Arts/ Reading (ELAR) credits – English I, II, III plus loss of 4th credit in English IV based upon the SBOE-approved TEKS – 4th credit could be taken at community college in course not aligned with the SBOE-approved TEKS

3 Math credits – Algebra I, Geometry and the loss of Algebra II – 3rd credit could  be taken at community college in course not aligned with the SBOE-approved TEKS

2 Science credits – Biology, “advanced” science course, Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) or “advanced” science credit  [“advanced” courses could be taken at community colleges in courses not aligned with the SBOE-approved TEKS]

3 Social Studies credits – U. S. History, ½ credits each in Government and Economics, 1 credit in either World Geography or World History

2 credits in languages other than English – (could substitute Computer Programming for foreign language)

1 Fine Arts credit — could be earned in community based fine arts program

1 P. E. credit

5 elective credits


HB 5 rips the authority over Career and Technology course curriculum requirements out of the hands of the elected SBOE and gives it to an outside consortium even though the SBOE has spent years refining and updating the CT course requirements.  Districts could offer courses or activities such as apprenticeship or training hours to obtain “credentials or certificates” during the school day without meeting the approval of the SBOE. These credentials or certificates allow the student to take the courses at outside career/technology or higher education institutions.


By next school year, each school district will have to partner with an institution of higher learning (e.g., local community colleges) to offer Math and English courses either on the high-school campus or through distance learning/online for 12th graders who have not demonstrated college readiness.  These courses (called “advanced” but in reality are watered down and remediated) can satisfy the fourth year of Math and English in the Foundation plan and at the discretion of the institution of higher learning can also be accepted for dual credit.


Under HB 5, by 2014-2015, a graduation plan must be set up for each junior high student who has not performed satisfactorily on the STAAR; however, without the STAAR being given at each grade level in 3-8 in all four core subject areas, how would the counselor be able to help the student determine an appropriate  graduation plan?

At the beginning of ninth grade, the counselor(s) would be required to meet with each ninth grader to go over his graduation plan and explain the Foundation plan and the two endorsements required for Distinguished Achievement and top 10%.  However, without the complete STAAR data gained from each grade level and core subject (3 – 8), the counselor(s), the student , and the parent would have limited knowledge to make decisions. 


HB 5 requires a 9th grader to take the Foundation plan and indicate an endorsement.  The student can change his endorsement at any time. After the student’s 10th grade year, he can decide not to participate in an endorsement and still graduate under the Foundation plan by submitting written permission from his parent/guardian.


The Foundation plan is a dumbed-down version of the current New Plan.  The Foundation plan requires English I, II, III and an “advanced” English course (in actuality could be the remediated English course previously mentioned).

This means that the 12th grade students who are not deemed college ready will not be required to take the capstone English IV course tied to the SBOE-adopted TEKS in which students read the great world and British classics that have influenced the course of events and have shaped American history.

By being allowed to graduate without taking English IV tied to the TEKS, it is doubtful that these 12th grade students would ever learn how to write logically and analytically, using accepted research skills. Again, HB 5 is the dumbing down of our Texas high-school graduates.

The same thing is allowed in math with students in the Foundation plan being allowed to graduate with only Algebra I and Geometry without ever having taken Algebra II which is a predictor of college and workplace readiness. Instead the third year of math can be a watered-down version of remedial math.

Science follows the same path under the Foundation plan with only biology required with two other credits of a watered-down version of science (i.e., one  “advanced” course – actually remediated — and one Integrated Physics and Chemistry).

Social Studies under the Foundation plan requires U. S. History, Government/Economics, and either World Geography OR World History.

The Foundation plan requires two years in the same language other than English, but the students can satisfy the requirement by taking Computer Programming languages.  If the student indicates that he is unlikely to be able to complete the second credit, he can substitute another course for the second credit.

Rounding out the rest of the Foundation plan are 5 elective credits, 1 fine arts credit, and 1 physical education credit.  (No speech course is required.)


A student can receive the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation plan by successfully completing 4 credits of math (including Algebra II and the “advanced” higher education courses, 4 credits in science (including the “advanced” higher education courses, and the rest of the Foundation courses (already described ) plus the curriculum requirements for at least one endorsement.

A student can get credit for the Foundation plan or for an endorsement by taking the appropriate core curriculum courses at an institution of higher learning (e.g., community colleges). The student will receive a distinguished achievement award under the Foundation plan and can apply for admission to college the semester after completing the core curriculum courses.

A student can substitute elective credits with additional curriculum requirements for the distinguished achievement under the Foundation plan (e.g., advanced career and technical courses).  Dual credit courses also can satisfy the curriculum requirements.  The SBOE is charged with allowing a distinguished achievement student to take a combined World Geography and World History course developed by the SBOE.

The student can earn an endorsement on the student’s diploma and transcript by being given multiple options for earning each endorsement in coherent sequences of courses (when possible).  A student can enroll in more than one endorsement before the student’s junior year. 


The five endorsements are as follows:

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)  —  courses in environmental science, technology (including computer science), and advanced mathematics

Business and Industry  — courses directly related to database management, information technology, communications, accounting, finance, marketing, graphic design, architecture,  construction, welding, logistics, automotive technology, agricultural science, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

Public Services — courses directly related to health sciences and occupations, education and training, law enforcement, and culinary arts and hospitality

Arts and Humanities  — courses directly related to political science, world languages, cultural studies, English literature, history, and fine arts.

Multidisciplinary Studies  — courses that allow a student  to select courses from the other four endorsements and to earn credits in a variety of “advanced” courses found under the distinguished achievement level of the Foundation plan.

With parental permission, students in the Arts and Humanities endorsement can substitute for the science requirements the courses related to Arts and Humanities.

Under HB 5, each school district must make available courses that allow a student to complete curriculum requirements for at least one endorsement out of the four endorsements. If a district offers only one endorsement, then it also must offer the courses to meet the Multidisciplinary Studies endorsement.


Because of new requirements under HB 5, the Commissioner of Education shall adopt a transition plan to replace the minimum, recommended, and advanced high school programs.  The Foundation high school plan is to begin with the 2014-2015 school year.

A student who entered the 9th grade before the 2014-2015 school must be permitted to complete the curriculum requirements under the Foundation plan if so desired.  If, however, the student was participating in the minimum, recommended, or advanced high school programs before the 2014-15 school year, the student will be permitted to graduate under those programs.

If the student will be a senior in the fall of 2013 and has been participating in the minimum, recommended, or advanced high school program but does not satisfy the requirements of that plan, the student could still graduate if he satisfies the requirements of the Foundation plan.

When this year’s 7th graders get to high school, they will move to the Foundation plan. 


High schools must ensure that all secondary and postsecondary students have the opportunity to participate in career and technology education programs and that career and technology education is established as a part of the total education system of Texas.

A school district must provide to the greatest extent possible (to a student participating in a career and technology education program) opportunities to enroll in dual-credit courses designed to lead to a degree, license, or certification as part of the program.


*In HB 5, it is not clear whether all or any of the following instructional materials have to be aligned with the SBOE-adopted TEKS; but without SBOE oversight over these instructional materials, there will be no way to prove that the TEKS are being followed:

Funds allotted under HB 5 may be used to purchase instructional materials; consumable instructional materials, including workbooks; instructional materials for use in bilingual education classes; instructional materials for use in “advanced” preparatory courses; supplemental instructional materials such as state-developed open-source instructional materials; instructional materials and technological equipment under any continuing contracts of the district in effect on September 1, 2011; and technological equipment necessary to support the use of materials; pay for training educational personnel directly involved in student learning in the appropriate use of instructional materials and for providing for access to technological equipment for instructional use; and pay the salary and other expenses of an employee who provides technical support for the use of technological equipment directly involved in student learning. 


Beginning in 2013-2014, a student enrolled in a college preparatory course who satisfies the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) college readiness benchmarks on the college preparatory tests taken at the end of the course satisfies the STAAR/EOC requirements in an equivalent course.

The Commissioner will set the satisfactory passing standard on the AP, IB, SAT Subject Test, SAT, ACT, PSAT, the ACT-Plan, or any nationally normed test; and if the student reaches that standard in the equivalent course, he will have satisfied the requirement for the STAAR/EOC. 


If the school district believes a student at the end of Grade 11 is unlikely to achieve a satisfactory score on one or more of the STAAR/EOC’s, the school district can require the student to enroll in an “advanced college-preparatory course [in actuality, a “remediated” course].

In other words, this is a way for weak 12th grade students to escape having to pass the STAAR/EOC’s.  If the senior student enrolls in a remediated community college course and passes the assessment put together by professors who may not care a whit about the rigor of the SBOE-adopted TEKS, then the 12th grade student does not have to worry about the TEKS, the STAAR/EOC’s, etc.

End result:  This is an “escape route” created by HB 5 that will end up depriving seniors of the enriched TEKS high-school courses that will prepare them to become logical/analytical thinkers who have studied the great historical and literary pieces upon which our country is based.  This will result in more low-information voters who will go out into the world without the background they need to become well-informed citizens. 


Beginning in 2013 – 2014, many Indicators of student achievement are required by HB 5:  results of STAAR/EOC’s by grade levels and subject area, number and results of retakes, how many students met college readiness performance standards by grade levels and subject areas in reading/math/writing, annual improvement of students, dropouts, re-enrolls, number of distinguished achievement students, number of students who earn postsecondary credit under Foundation plan, number who earn earn an endorsement/associate’s degree/industry certification. Indicators that measure student improvement cannot hurt a school district’s rating if district is already achieving at highest rating on the indicator.

Beginning in 2014-2015,  each year the Commissioner shall announce the state standard for the current school year for each student achievement indicator and shall project the state standards for each indicator for the following two school years.

Beginning in 2016-2017, the Commissioner shall assign each district a performance rating of A, B, C, D, or F.  A district performance rating of A, B, or C is an acceptable performance.  A district performance rating of D or F is unacceptable performance.

The individual campuses will be rated exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable. A campus performance rating of exemplary, recognized, or acceptable reflects acceptable performance; but a campus performance rating of unacceptable reflects unacceptable performance.

A district may not receive a performance rating of A if the district includes any campus with a performance rating of unacceptable.

Not later than August 8 of each year, the performance rating of each district and campus shall be made publicly available as provided by rules adopted under this subsection.

If a district or campus received a performance rating that reflected unacceptable performance for the preceding school year, the Commissioner shall notify the district of a the designation on or before June 15.

Beginning in the 2013 – 2014 school year, each school district (with the guidance of a local advisory committee seeking third-party guidance based upon research) shall evaluate the district’s performance and the performance of each campus in the district in community and student engagement and will assign the district and each campus a performance rating of exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable.

Not later than August 8 of each year, the district shall report each performance rating to the TEA and make the performance ratings publicly available as provided by commissioner rule.

The following programs or specific categories of performance at each campus will become a part of the community performance rating:

Fine arts; wellness and physical education; community and parental involvement, such as opportunities for parents to assist students in preparing for STAAR/EOC’s; tutoring programs that support students taking STAAR/EOC’s; and opportunities for students to participate in community service projects  — The 21st Century Workforce Development program, the second language acquisition program; the digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for gifted and talented students, and  the record of the district and each campus regarding compliance with statutory reporting and policy requirements.


Beginning in 2013-2014, districts will be given an academic distinction for outstanding performance in attainment of postsecondary readiness using the percentages of students who were college ready on the STAAR/EOC’s; earned a nationally or internationally recognized business or industry certification or license; completed a coherent sequence of career and technical courses; completed dual credit courses; demonstrated college-readiness benchmarks on PSAT, SAT, ACT, ACT-Plan; received college credit for high AP/IB exam scores.

Starting in 2013 – 2014, outstanding campuses will be given distinction designations if they are ranked in the top 25% of campuses in Texas on annual improvement in student achievement on STAAR/EOC’s and/or if they are closing the student performance gaps between subpopulations.

The Commissioner may also give distinction designations to advanced middle or junior high school campuses based upon their STAAR/EOC scores. 


By 2014-2015, the TEA is to create an Internet website, separate from the TEA’s Internet website, that will be known as the Texas School Accountability Dashboard (TSAD).  The TSAD will inform the public about district and campus accountability information such as student achievement, student progress, closing of performance gaps, postsecondary readiness, comparisons between districts and campuses, and availability of endorsements.

By school year 2013-14, the TEA shall make available on its agency website by Oct. 1 of each year, the letter performance rating assigned to each school district, any school district or campus designated awards, and financial accountability ratings.