House Bill 5

Below is a summary of House Bill 5 that was signed by Governor Perry.

Effective date:  June 10, 2013. Applies beginning with the 2014-15 school year, except as indicated below.

90 percent rule:  Effective in 2013-14, a student in any grade k-12 may not receive credit or a final grade if the student attends class less than 90 percent of the days the class is offered, absent extenuating circumstances.

Assessments: Reduces assessments for graduation from 15 to 5:

  • English I
  • English II
  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • U.S. History
    • Requires the English assessments to be a combined reading and writing assessment, given on one day for one score.
    • Allows districts the option of testing students in English III and Algebra II, but prohibits the use of scores for accountability or graduation.
    • Eliminates the 15% grade and cumulative score requirements.
    • Provides for annual release of STAAR assessments.
    • Sets effective date as 2013-2014 academic year, with commissioner discretion to provide waivers for students in transition years.

Accelerated instruction:  Effective in 2013-14, absent parental permission, a student may not be removed for remedial instruction for more than 10 percent of the days a class is offered.  Effectively immediately, school districts must offer, at no cost to students, accelerated instruction before the next test administration to students who fail an EOC exam for Algebra I, biology, English I & II, or US history.  The instruction may require participation outside of normal school hours or normal school operations.  Districts must budget separately for accelerated instruction, and compensatory education funds may not be budgeted for any other purpose until the district sets a budget for accelerated instruction.  Districts must evaluate the effectiveness of accelerated instruction and hold an annual public hearing on the results.

High school graduation requirements:  To graduate under the foundation program, students must complete:

  • Four credits in English (English I-III and one advanced course)
  • Three credits in math (Algebra I, geometry, and one advanced course)
  • Three credits in science (biology, and either two advanced courses, or one advanced course and one integrated physics and chemistry course)
  • Three credits in social studies (US history, .5 government, .5 economics, and world geography and/or world history)
  • Two credits in the same foreign language or a computer programming language, with SBOE to adopt exceptions for students with disabilities or who are otherwise unlikely to complete this requirement
  • One credit in fine arts
  • One credit in PE, absent an exception (may be an approved private program)
  • Five electives

Distinguished level of achievement:  A student earns a distinguished level of achievement in the high school foundation program if the student completes:

  • four credits in math, including geometry, Algebra I and II, and another advanced math course (or CTE course, as permitted by SBOE rule)
  • four credits in science, including biology, and either two advanced courses, or one advanced course and one integrated physics and chemistry course (or CTE course, as permitted by SBOE rule)
  • the remaining foundation program credits, and
  • at least one endorsement (all of which must require two additional elective credits)

All districts must offer Algebra II to be accredited.

Endorsements:  The endorsements are STEM, business and industry, public services, arts and humanities, and multidisciplinary studies.  If a school district offers only one endorsement, it must be multidisciplinary studies.  A district must ensure that on entering ninth grade each student indicates in writing an endorsement the student intends to earn.  A district must permit a student to choose at any time to earn an endorsement other than the one the student previously indicated.  A student may graduate under the foundation program without an endorsement if, after the student’s sophomore year, the student and parent are advised by a school counselor of the benefits of graduating with an endorsement and the parent provides written permission on a TEA form.

if the student satisfies the foundation program and any other graduation requirements.

Top Ten Percent and college admissions:  Unless an exception applies, a student must graduate at the distinguished level of achievement to be eligible for automatic admission through the Top Ten Percent.  A student who is not eligible for automatic admission may apply to any general academic teaching institution if the student completed the foundation program or achieved a certain score on the SAT or ACT.

Accountability: Establishes an A-F rating system for districts, while maintaining current ratings for campuses.

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