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Rep.Lopez, Ray

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On Behalf of Texas Students, Representative Ray Lopez CoAuthors Landmark STAAR Reform  print page

by: Rep. Lopez, Ray
04/16/2019

Austin, TX - Representative Ray Lopez proudly supports Rep. VanDeaver (Bowie County) by CoAuthoring House Bill 1480 that recently passed the House floor. This specific piece of legislation calls for an amendment of the Education Code that would remove requirements for students to pass standardized tests for grade promotion. House Bill 1480 would also eliminate the social studies and U.S. history assessments, adopt accelerated learning committees to replace grade placement committees, and redistribute certain state agency responsibilities regarding standardized testing.

HB 1480 calls for a reduction in the number of statewide standardized tests to only what is federally mandated. It would require district boards to adopt accelerated learning groups that would offer specialized instruction for students who fail to pass any statewide standardized test in the third through eighth grades. This accelerated instruction would be provided for students during the subsequent school year and would prohibit a ratio of more than 10 students for each teacher within any instructional group. Students will no longer be severely under prepared for their state assessments and will no longer be put under such distressing test-taking conditions.

As former President of Northside ISD's Board, Representative Lopez is honored to champion a reimagining of our statewide assessment system. "Increased classroom resources, the elimination of grade promotion requirements, and more focused instruction for Texas students is necessary to ensure their success in and beyond grade school," said Rep. Lopez. “Had these provisions been implemented years ago, then Texas students and schools would not currently be suffering the heavy burdens brought on by STAAR testing.”

HB 1480 would repeal the requirement of the State Board of Education (SBOE) to establish a standard of performance for statewide standardized tests. It would transfer the responsibility and administration of secondary-level end-of-course tests from the SBOE to the Texas Education Agency. HB 1480 includes a specific test preparation structure known as the Texas Success Initiative. This initiative would minimize classroom disruption and maximizes available instruction time for students. However, it would require that end-of-course tests be administered no later than the second week of May.

A change of this nature in the statewide assessment system is not unprecedented. The Texas Legislature first implemented a state assessment for students in 1980 with the Texas Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS) and has since enacted major reform five separate times. House Bill 1480 would take effect starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

Contact: James Rodriguez

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