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BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

H.B. 3885

By: Alonzo

Higher Education

Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

Texas colleges and universities have used the Texas Higher Education Assessment since 1989 to evaluate the college readiness of incoming students.† The assessment, or its equivalent, consists of reading, mathematics, and writing sections.† Students must pass all three portions of the test before enrolling in college courses.† Students who do not perform satisfactorily on any section of the test are required to take the appropriate developmental or remedial program to prepare them for taking freshman-level courses.† Approximately half of all incoming freshmen are required to take at least one developmental or remedial course based on the test results and more than 25 percent are required to take two developmental or remedial courses based on the test results. †Additionally, little more than 10 percent of students required to take developmental or remedial courses will ultimately graduate.† Students taking developmental or remedial courses spend on average one semester doing so and receive no academic credit.† Approximately 40 percent of all students will spend at least two semesters taking developmental or remedial courses.† 
 
Clearly, the developmental and remedial programs in Texas colleges and universities are not reaching any reasonable measure of success, indicating a need for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to commission a comprehensive study of all developmental and remedial programs in Texas colleges and universities.† Such a study would result in recommendations for improvement and corrective action.† Additionally, the board should fund pilot programs across the state dealing with innovative strategies for improving remedial and developmental education.
 

H.B. 3885 requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish pilot programs at institutions of higher education to develop innovative strategies for addressing a studentís deficiencies in the studentís readiness to perform freshman-level academic coursework.† The bill requires the board to perform an analysis of the effectiveness of the requirements of existing developmental education and college readiness programs in efficiently meeting the needs of students in becoming ready to perform freshman-level academic coursework, to make recommendations for improving developmental coursework and assessments, including recommendations for legislation, and to report its findings and recommendations to each institution of higher education and to the Texas Legislature.

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

ANALYSIS

 

H.B. 3885 amends the Education Code by adding a temporary provision, set to expire January 1, 2011, to require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, as a result of its evaluation of the effectiveness of the Success Initiative on a statewide basis with respect to each institution of higher education, to establish pilot programs, using funds appropriated to the board, at institutions of higher education to develop innovative strategies for addressing a student's deficiencies in the student's readiness to perform freshman-level academic coursework. The bill requires the board to perform an analysis, in connection with its evaluation of the Success Initiative, of the effectiveness of the requirements of the Success Initiative in efficiently meeting the needs of students in becoming ready to perform freshman-level academic coursework. The bill requires the analysis to examine the effects of the requirements of the Success Initiative on the progress and success of students who enroll in an institution of higher education. The bill requires the board to make recommendations based on the analysis for improving developmental coursework and assessments, including recommendations for legislation, and to report its findings and recommendations to each institution of higher education and to the Texas Legislature not later than November 1, 2010.

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

On passage, or, if the act does not receive the necessary vote, the act takes effect September 1, 2009.