While there may be considerable partisan battles in Legislature over many issues, bills attempting to limit standardized testing have been a uniting force for members of the Texas House in recent years (although with promising bills often meeting their death in the Senate). HB 764 (Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth) would remove STAAR tests in writing in grades four and seven, in social studies in grade eight, and in any additional subject and grade not required by federal law. It also would allow districts to replace End of Course exams with new norm-referenced tests (like the ACT/SAT) to meet federal testing requirements in high school. And as amended on the House floor, the bill:
- Would not allow results from these new high school, norm-referenced tests to affect graduation.
- In a statewide national disaster, would not allow test results from a disrupted district to be used for state ratings, accountability sanctions, or requirements for graduation.
- Allow parents of students with cognitive impairments to request an exemption from the alternative STAAR test and instead—with the approval of their Admissions, Review and Dismissal Committee—take a district-developed assessment based on the goals of the student’s Individualized Education Plan.
The bill passed the House Friday 136-6 and now heads to the Senate.