(AP) — A powerful lawmaker has introduced a bill to overhaul the public school accountability and graduation system in Texas.
Killeen Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock's legislation would allow high school students to specialize in their coursework, overhaul the standardized test system and change how public schools are rated.
Aycock is the chairman of the House Public Education Committee and many of the recommendations are in line with suggestions from the Texas Education Agency.
Under the proposal, students could earn a special endorsement on their diploma after meeting certain basic requirements. They would also only have to take five tests instead of 15 to graduate. And schools would receive grades A through F based on more than just test results.
The public can comment on the proposal when it comes up in committee.
"House Bill 5 will improve education in Texas by better equipping schools to meet students' individual needs," Aycock said. "The filing of this bill is the first step in a very important conversation about the quality of both our schools and our workforce."
House Bill 5 highlights:
- The measure would create one "foundation diploma" to give students a variety of postsecondary opportunities. It gives students more flexibility in the courses needed to graduate and allows schools to partner with colleges and industry to develop rigorous courses that address workforce needs.
- It would reduce the number of required end-of-course tests in high schools from 15 to five. It eliminates the cumulative score requirement and the requirement that end-of-course scores determine 15 percent of a student's course grade. It also allows satisfactory scores on Advanced Placement or college-entrance exams to satisfy graduation requirements.
- It would call on the state to evaluate schools on more than just test scores, creating understandable labels of A,B,C,D and F to describe school performance. It also allows local communities to require a local ratings system.
"This bill is a direct response to employers concerned about the quality of our workforce and parents concerned about excessive testing," Aycock said. "It will ensure that all students have the opportunity to excel in school and beyond."
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.