Bill Text: TX SB2401 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the administration of state assessments.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-21 - Referred to Education [SB2401 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB2401-Introduced.html
 
 
  By: Menéndez S.B. No. 2401
 
 
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the administration of state assessments.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 39.23, Education Code, is amended by a
  adding Subsection (a-14) and (q) and amending (a-11) and (e) to read
  as follows:
         (a-11)  Before an assessment instrument adopted or developed
  under Subsection (a) may be administered under that subsection, the
  assessment instrument must, on the basis of empirical evidence, be
  determined to be valid and reliable by an entity that is independent
  of the agency and of any other entity that developed the assessment
  instrument.  To the extent practicable, each assessment must also
  be evaluated by an independent group of qualified educators with
  Texas teaching experience for readability within the grade level
  assessed, and each assessment item of sufficient length must be
  separately evaluated for readability within the grade level
  assessed before being field-tested under subsection (d).  A
  determination of readability must consider available correlations
  with other assessments commonly used by Texas school districts, and
  shall be verified by an independent group of qualified educators
  with Texas teaching experience.  The commissioner shall hold a
  public hearing before making a determination as to readability of
  assessments and before any decision under this section.
         (a-14)  Each reading assessment instrument adopted or
  developed under Subsection (a) shall be comprised of assessment
  passages, items or questions that are aligned with the essential
  skills and knowledge established by the State Board of Education
  under Section 39.021 for a course, subject, and grade level, and
  that have been determined to be written at the independent reading
  level based on multiple generally accepted reliable measures of
  readability and as verified by an independent group of qualified
  educators with Texas teaching experience.
         (e)  Under rules adopted by the State Board of Education,
  every third year, the agency shall release the questions and answer
  keys to each assessment instrument administered under Subsection
  (a), (b), (c), (d), or (l), excluding any assessment instrument
  administered to a student for the purpose of retaking the
  assessment instrument, after the last time the instrument is
  administered for that school year. To ensure a valid bank of
  questions for use each year, the agency is not required to release a
  question that is being field-tested and was not used to compute the
  student's score on the instrument. The agency shall also release,
  under board rule, each question that is no longer being
  field-tested and that was not used to compute a student's score.
  During the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, the agency shall
  release the questions and answer keys to assessment instruments as
  described by this subsection each year.  At the time that the agency
  releases the questions and answer keys for an assessment
  instrument, the agency also shall release the measures of
  readability for each question and reading passage as determined
  under Subsection (a-14).
         (q)  The State Board of Education shall periodically review,
  at least once each year, the assessment instruments adopted or
  developed under Subsection (a) and the measure of readability
  determined under Subsection (a-14).  Any review of assessment
  instruments and measures of readability that have not been released
  under Subsection (e) may be conducted in closed session.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 39, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 39.02302 to read as follows:
         Sec. 39.02302.  TRANSITION FOR READABILITY MEASURES.  (a)  No
  later than November 1, 2019, the commissioner shall complete an
  evaluation of readability within grade level of each assessment
  required under Section 39.023(a) and administered during or
  following the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years and provide the
  results of the evaluation to each legislative oversight committee
  and the governor.
         (b)  State assessment performance labels and numeric values,
  (including, but not limited to the following: approaches, meets,
  and masters grade level), sanctions, interventions and SSI
  promotion requirements shall not be applied to students, campuses
  or districts based on the results of the 2018-2019 state
  assessments unless:
               (1)  a district or campus moves from an unacceptable to
  an acceptable rating; and
               (2)  allows a student to comply with a high school
  graduation requirement based on successful performance on an
  assessment.
               (c)  State assessment instruments shall not be
  administered during the 2019-2020 or any later school year unless
  they meet the readability standards in section 39.023(a-11) and
  (a-14).  If an assessment instrument does not meet the readability
  standards in section 39.023 (a-11) and (a-14), the Commissioner
  shall request a federal waiver, if needed, from the requirements of
  the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)(20 U.S.C. Section 6301 et
  seq.) to comply with this section.
               (d)  To the extent a state assessment is not available
  that meets the requirements of section 39.023(a-11) and (a-14) for
  the 2019-2020 school year, the commissioner shall:
                     (1)  request a waiver as necessary to comply with
  this section;
                     (2)  except as provided by subsection (3), not
  assign a state district or campus rating, impose any district or
  campus sanction, or require any student promotion condition that is
  based in whole or in part on an assessment not meeting the
  requirements of section 39.023(a-11) and (a-14) unless expressly
  required by federal law and is not waived; and
                     (3)  assign a district or campus rating based in
  whole or in part on an assessment not meeting the requirements of
  section 39.023(a-11) and (a-14) only to the extent a district or
  campus moves from an unacceptable to an acceptable rating.
         (e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
  ability of a student to comply with a high school graduation
  requirement based on successful performance on an assessment.
         (f)  This section expires September 1, 2021.
         SECTION 3.  Section 39.0241(a), Education Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The commissioner shall determine the level of
  performance considered to be satisfactory on the assessment
  instruments., provided that satisfactory performance shall be
  based on grade level expectations for a course or subject and shall
  be consistent with other indicators of grade level performance,
  including the measures of readability determined under Subsection
  39.023(a-14).
         SECTION 4.  This Act applies beginning with the 2019-2020
  school year.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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