Bill Text: TX HB4242 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Engrossed


Bill Title: Relating to the consideration of reading level in the adoption of certain assessment instruments and associated student performance levels and to the temporary suspension of accountability sanctions for public schools.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-4)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-10 - Referred to Education [HB4242 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB4242-Engrossed.html
 
 
  By: Bernal, Talarico, Lopez, Ramos, Raymond, H.B. No. 4242
      et al.
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
 
  relating to the consideration of reading level in the adoption of
  certain assessment instruments and associated student performance
  levels and to the temporary suspension of accountability sanctions
  for public schools.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 39.023, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (a-10), (a-14), (a-15), and (e-2) and amending
  Subsection (a-11) to read as follows:
         (a-10)  Each assessment instrument adopted or developed
  under Subsection (a) must:
               (1)  include only passages, questions, answers, and
  other content aligned with the essential knowledge and skills
  adopted by the State Board of Education for the applicable subject
  for the grade level at which the assessment instrument will be
  administered or for any previous grade level; and
               (2)  include only passages written at a reading level
  not higher than the grade level at which the assessment instrument
  will be administered.
         (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 appropriate, valid, and reliable by an entity that
  is independent of the agency and of any other entity that developed
  the assessment instrument.
         (a-14)  The agency may not use a passage on an assessment
  instrument administered under Subsection (a), unless the passage
  has been individually evaluated to ensure the reading level of the
  passage is appropriate for the grade level of the students to whom
  the assessment instrument containing the passage will be
  administered, provided that:
               (1)  the evaluation must be conducted by a committee
  that:
                     (A)  consists of not fewer than 10 educators
  nominated by a regional education service center; and
                     (B)  includes:
                           (i)  at least one educator with a graduate
  degree in reading or literacy;
                           (ii)  at least one educator with a reading
  specialist certification; and
                           (iii)  at least one educator with current
  experience teaching in this state at a grade level relevant to the
  evaluation; and
               (2)  the committee established under Subdivision (1)
  must, for purposes of the evaluation, consider:
                     (A)  information from:
                           (i)  not fewer than five nationally
  recognized readability formulas; and
                           (ii)  evidence-based readability evaluation
  methods; and
                     (B)  the reading level of other assessment
  instruments commonly administered to students in each grade level.
         (a-15)  The agency shall annually submit a report to the
  State Board of Education demonstrating compliance with Subsection
  (a-10).
         (e-2)  A question with a related passage may not be
  field-tested under Subsection (e) without its related passage first
  being evaluated under Subsection (a-14). At the time the agency
  releases assessment instrument questions and answer keys under
  Subsection (e), the agency shall also release the reading level of
  each passage as determined by the committee under Subsection
  (a-14).
         SECTION 2.  Section 39.0241, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-2) to read as follows:
         (a-2)  The commissioner shall base the levels of performance
  under Subsections (a) and (a-1) on the grade level expectations and
  standards for each subject or course.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 39A, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 39A.907 to read as follows:
         Sec. 39A.907.  ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT STUDY; TEMPORARY
  SUSPENSION OF SANCTIONS. (a) The commissioner shall contract for a
  study to determine whether, for each applicable grade level, each
  assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023(a) during
  the 2018-2019 school year or scheduled to be administered during
  the 2019-2020 school year is written at the appropriate reading
  level for students in that grade level.
         (b)  In contracting for the study, the commissioner shall:
               (1)  use a competitive process to select an independent
  entity to conduct the study that is not an entity that develops or
  otherwise reviews assessment instruments under Chapter 39; and
               (2)  provide that The University of Texas at Austin,
  Texas Tech University, and Texas A&M University must oversee the
  design, completion, and evaluation of the study.
         (c)  Not later than December 1, 2019, the commissioner shall:
               (1)  submit a report to the legislature and the
  presiding officer of each legislative standing committee with
  jurisdiction over primary and secondary education that includes the
  results of the study; and
               (2)  hold a public meeting with representatives of The
  University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University, and Texas A&M
  University to discuss and explain the results of the study.
         (d)  Notwithstanding any other law, student performance on
  assessment instruments administered under Section 39.023(a) in the
  2018-2019 school year may not be used as a factor in determining:
               (1)  whether to order the closure of a campus as
  authorized under this chapter after the 2018-2019 school year; or
               (2)  whether a student, based on the student's
  performance, advances to the next grade level under Section 28.021
  or 28.0211 after the student completes the 2018-2019 school year.
         (e)  Notwithstanding any other law, if the report submitted
  by the commissioner under Subsection (c) indicates that an
  assessment instrument adopted under Section 39.023(a) scheduled to
  be administered during the 2019-2020 school year was written at a
  reading level above the grade level of the students to whom the
  assessment instrument is scheduled to be administered, student
  performance on assessment instruments identified under this
  subsection and administered under Section 39.023(a) may not be used
  as a factor in determining whether:
               (1)  interventions and sanctions under this chapter may
  be applied to a school district or campus for an unacceptable
  performance rating under Section 39.054 received for the 2019-2020
  school year;
               (2)  to impose interventions or sanctions authorized by
  this chapter after the 2019-2020 school year, including an
  intervention or sanction authorized by Section 39A.101 or 39A.111;
  or
               (3)  a student, based on the student's performance,
  advances to the next grade level under Section 28.021 or 28.0211
  after the student completes the 2019-2020 school year.
         (f)  This section expires September 1, 2023.
         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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