SRC-JJJ S.B. 103 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Senate Research CenterS.B. 103 By: Bivins Education 8/5/1999 Enrolled DIGEST Currently, students must pass the 10th grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) covering various subjects in order to graduate from high school. TAAS measures a student's progress toward certain academic goals of the state. There have been requests from businesses and institutions of higher education for the state to administer an exit-level exam with a broader content, which measures the core academic skills needed to succeed in higher education and the workplace. S.B. 103 will establish requirements regarding the state assessments of public school students. PURPOSE As enrolled, S.B. 103 establishes provisions regarding state assessments of public schools. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY Rulemaking authority is granted to the State Board of Education in SECTION 3 (Section 39.023, Education Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 28.025(a), Education Code, to authorize a student to graduate and receive a diploma only if the student complies with Section 39.025(a) or the student successfully completes an individualized education program. Deletes text regarding the exit level assessment. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 2. Amends Section 39.022, Education Code, to provide that the State Board of Education (BOE), by rule, shall create and implement a statewide assessment program that is knowledge- and skills-based, rather than primarily performance-based. SECTION 3. Amends Sections 39.023, Education Code, by amending Subsections (a), (b), (c), and (e), and by adding Subsection (l), to set forth required assessment instruments designed to assess students' essential knowledge and skills in certain subjects at various grade levels. Requires the Texas Education Agency (agency) to adopt secondary exit-level assessments to be administered to students in grade 11 to assess certain basic subjects. Sets forth certain minimum requirements for specific subjects. Requires assessment instruments to assess a student's mastery of minimum skills necessary for high school graduation and readiness to enroll in an institution of higher education. Requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to assist the agency in determining skills necessary for enrolling in a higher education institution. Exempts students who perform at or above the level established by THECB on the secondary exit-level assessment instruments from the requirements of Section 51.306. Requires the BOE to adopt rules for the administration of the assessment instruments in Spanish for certain students with limited English proficiency. Sets forth conditions by which students may be assessed in Spanish. Deletes text regarding the required grade of certain test levels. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 4. Amends Section 39.024(b), Education Code, to require the intensive programs for students who did not perform satisfactorily to be designed to enable those students to be performing at grade level at the conclusion of the next regular school term or to attain a standard annual growth specified by the agency. SECTION 5. Amends Section 39.025(a), Education Code, to provide that this subsection does not require a student to demonstrate readiness to enroll in an institution of higher education. Deletes text regarding specific classes administering an assessment exam. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 6. Amends Section 39.027, Education Code, by amending Subsections (a) and (e) and by adding Subsection (f), to set forth conditions for which a student may be exempt from the administration of an assessment exam. Requires the commissioner of education (commissioner) to develop an assessment system to be used for evaluating the academic progress of all students of limited English proficiency. Requires the performance of students under this assessment system to be included in the academic excellence indicator system, the performance report, and the comprehensive biennial report. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 7. Amends Sections 39.051(b) and (d), Education Code, to set forth required inclusions for the indicator. Prohibits the commissioner, in defining exemplary, recognized, and unacceptable performance for the indicators, from considering as a dropout or as a student who has failed to attend school a student whose failure to attend school results from certain conditions. Deletes text regarding the percentage of students taking end-of-course assessment instruments. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 8. Repealers: Section 7.055(b)(33), Education Code (requiring the commissioner of education to develop an assessment system for certain students); Section 39.023(d), Education Code (regarding allowable modifications of assessment exams for special education students and exemption of exam for students) and Section 39.023(j), Education Code (regarding the expiration date of subsection). SECTION 9. Requires the commissioner of education to adopt rules for the implementation of Section 39.023, Education Code. Sets forth provisions that the commissioner's rules must provide. SECTION 10. (a) Requires the BOE to administer assessment instruments, in accordance with the rules, not later than the 1999-2000 school year. (b) Requires the performance of students under an assessment instrument to be included in the accountability system, not later than the 1999-2000 school year. (c) Provides that Section 39.027(a)(3), Education Code, applies beginning with the 19992000 school year. SECTION 11. (a) Requires the commissioner of education to conduct a study to determine the effectiveness of changes as added by this Act. Sets forth requirements to which this study shall include, but not be limited. (b) Requires the commissioner of education to report the results of the study in Subsection (a) to certain individuals, not later than December 1, 2006. (c) Requires the commissioner of education to conduct a study to determine the need to expand the assessment system to include the assessment in grades seven and eight of students whose primarily language is Spanish and other students who are of limited English proficiency. (d) Requires the commissioner of education to report the results of the study in Subsection (c) to certain individuals, not later than December 1, 2006. SECTION 12. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 13. Emergency clause.