House Representative

González, Mary


Representative Mary E. González Seeks to Improve Assessments Methods for Cognitively Disabled Students

AUSTIN -- Representative Mary E. González has introduced House Bills 43, 73, and 356 to
tackle the issue of providing testing relief to students with severe cognitive disabilities, more
specifically, students with intellectual disabilities. The proposed legislation calls upon
government agencies to reanalyze the current manner in which these students are measured.
Collectively, these bills would seek to evaluate the effectiveness of current standardized testing
systems for students with cognitive disabilities, allow the Admit Review Dismissal Committee to
determine what assessment tool would be the most effective, and, require the Texas Education
Agency Commissioner to file a waiver exempting students with intellectual disabilities from
taking a federally-mandated standardized assessment.

“The systems currently in place to measure learning for students with cognitive disabilities are
inadequate,” said Representative Mary E. González. “We must identify protocols that ease the test-related pressures on students with intellectual disabilities. These students do not deserve the burden and discomfort of ineffective assessments. I believe that we can find a way to track student progress in a more appropriate, inclusive way.”

In the 2013-2014 school year, there were 2,182 special education students reported statewide as
being Medically Fragile. The Public Education Information Management System defines
Medically Fragile as having a chronic condition that requires daily, ongoing medical treatments
and monitoring, requiring the routine use of medical device or of assistive technology and living
with the ongoing threat of one’s well-being.

For more information on the bill, please contact Genevieve Cato, Legislative Director, at (512)