85th Session Bills that impact your classroom:
On Tuesday, March 21, the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Education is holding a hearing that will include testimony on several bills relating to English language arts.
House Bills 515 and 546 would each eliminate assessment in writing:
HB 515 Relating to eliminating certain state-required assessment instruments and certain end-of-course assessment instruments not required by federal law.
HB 546 Relating to limiting certain state-required assessment instruments administered to public school students in certain grades to assessments required by federal law.
House Bills 988 and 989 explore portfolio assessment as an alternative to standardized testing:
HB 988 Relating to establishing a pilot program under which public schools may develop a portfolio method to assess student performance in grades three through eight for purposes of accountability and qualification for promotion.
HB 989 Relating to establishing a pilot program under which public schools may develop a portfolio method to assess secondary-level student performance for purposes of accountability and qualification for graduation.
As an organization, TCTELA opposes HB 515 and 546. They both eliminate assessment in writing while maintaining high stakes assessment of reading. Because balanced reading and writing instruction is a key component of literacy education, the assessment of reading and writing must also be balanced.
TCTELA supports HB 988 and 989. These bills seek to make writing assessment more authentic, allowing districts to assess student progress over a period of time. Portfolio assessment would be factored in to a student’s overall performance, thereby reducing the impact of standardized testing in measuring student growth, teacher evaluation, and district accountability.
Members are encouraged to contact their own representatives and the members of the House Committee on Public Education to share their professional opinions regarding the bills under consideration. Tuesday’s hearing can be watched via livestream or video archive.
Thank you for participating in Literacy Education Day.
"I knew at once that this feeling of helping others and advocating for a cause you believe in was a feeling I would not soon want to forget. I wanted that feeling to resonate throughout the rest of my life, my career...The momentum from that trip is largely what carried me to accept an internship the following summer with a District Court Judge."
Sonora HS Senior
"I was privileged to meet and speak with several distinguished state officials about our education system, as well as hear from my fellow classmates and other students from across the state sharing their experiences."
Eldorado HS Teacher
"Watching the legislators’ and aides’ expressions when the students began to speak so eloquently and passionately about their own English language arts experiences was priceless. By the time we left the Texas State Capitol grounds, the students’ understanding of the process to bring a bill from inception to ratification multiplied by leaps and bounds."
Texas State Capitol
Wednesday, Feb. 22nd 2017 at 9am-4pm
1100 Congress Avenue Austin, TX
9:00 AM • Gather at Capitol Grill for welcome and assignments
10:00 to 11:00 AM • Meet with legislators
11:00 AM to 12:15 PM • Lunch and Guest Speaker
12:30-3 PM • Continue to meet with legislators/Take a tour of the Capitol
3:00-4:00 PM • Debrief, wrap up, and celebrate!
4:00 PM • Depart for home