By:  Gallegos                                        S.C.R. No. 171
                             SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
    1-1        WHEREAS, The Legislature of the State of Texas is concerned
    1-2  that seven out of 10 special education students in Texas drop out
    1-3  of school; and
    1-4        WHEREAS, Eighty percent of all learning disabled students are
    1-5  shown to have a weakness in reading; and
    1-6        WHEREAS, The number of at-risk and minority students found to
    1-7  have phonological awareness weaknesses is continually increasing in
    1-8  Texas; and
    1-9        WHEREAS, Phonological awareness is a major factor in the
   1-10  acquisition of early reading skills; and
   1-11        WHEREAS, Eighty-five to 90 percent of all students can be
   1-12  measured for phonological awareness ability in first grade, and
   1-13  phonological awareness can be measured in preliterate children; and
   1-14        WHEREAS, Direct instruction in phonics and building
   1-15  phonological awareness skills are shown to work in remediating
   1-16  phonologically weak at-risk and minority students; and
   1-17        WHEREAS, Experts have recommended the following requirements
   1-18  be implemented:
   1-19        (1)  all Texas schoolchildren be measured for phonological
   1-20  awareness by the end of kindergarten or the beginning of first
   1-21  grade;
   1-22        (2)  all Texas schoolchildren be measured in first and second
   1-23  grade for reading ability with a nationally recognized
    2-1  norm-referenced reading test;
    2-2        (3)  all Texas colleges and universities offer classes in the
    2-3  instruction of direct, systematic, intensive phonics;
    2-4        (4)  Texas bilingual teachers be required to teach their
    2-5  students direct, systematic intensive phonics instruction in both
    2-6  Spanish and English; and
    2-7        (5)  the effectiveness of this type of instruction be
    2-8  measured by the use of a national norm-referenced test to assess
    2-9  the reading ability of Texas bilingual children in grades one
   2-10  through three; now, therefore, be it
   2-11        RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate Committee on Education and
   2-12  the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Education
   2-13  study these suggestions and report back to the 75th Legislature in
   2-14  January, 1997.