The Texas School Alliance (TSA) supports the conference committee report (CCR) for HB 3906 and encourages the House and Senate Members to support it as well because it provides an opportunity to make meaningful changes the current assessment system in Texas over the next few years.
Specifically, CCR HB 3906…
1. Eliminates the references to “language arts / writing” being tested in every grade. It returns the statewide assessment language back to current law (STAAR reading in grades 3-8 and writing in grades 4 and 7).
2. Eliminates the Assessment Instrument Study from HB 3906 so that the HB 3 language will be in statute. The CCR HB 3 language requires an MOU with a higher education institution and includes more specificity regarding a STAAR readability study than the HB 3906 language.
3. Clarifies that the intent of administering STAAR in ‘multiple parts over more than one day’ is to “provide assessment instruments that are as short as practicable and minimize the disruption to the educational program.”
4. Maintains the Educator Advisory Committee. This ensures that curriculum and instruction experts will assist in test development and readability issues, along with the psychometricians.
5. Removes the Kindergarten reading assessment language from HB 3906 so that the HB 3 language will be in statute.
With the passage of HB 3, and the monumental steps it takes toward changing the school finance system in Texas, The Texas School Alliance encourages the House and Senate members to continue on this pathway of keeping the students’ best interests in mind regarding the statewide assessment system.
The Texas School Alliance is made up of 37 of the largest school districts in Texas, representing over 2 million students (or nearly 40% of the state’s total pupil enrollment). Our students represent 44% of the state’s economically disadvantaged student population, 52% of ELLs, and 45% of all at-risk students. TSA works on issues that will the educational quality for Texas students, particularly those in large and urban districts.