82R8759 CAE-D
  By: Martinez Fischer H.B. No. 1704
  relating to a pilot project to assess public school students by
  alternative methods.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 39, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 39.0236 to read as follows:
  PROJECT. (a) In this section, "alternative assessment" means a
  method of assessment in which a student is required to solve a
  problem or demonstrate a skill but is not required to answer
  questions from a list of possible answers. The term includes
  assessment through short-answer questions, an essay, a
  performance, an oral presentation, a demonstration, an experiment,
  or an exhibition.
         (b)  The agency shall establish a pilot project to use
  alternative assessment as provided by this section in assessing the
  performance of students.
         (c)  The agency shall select six public schools to
  participate in the pilot project.  The selected schools must
  include two schools located in urban areas, two schools located in
  suburban areas, and two schools located in rural areas. The agency
  may not select to participate in the pilot project a school that has
  been rated as academically unacceptable during any of the five
  years preceding the initial year of the pilot project.
  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter:
               (1)  the academic performance of students in the sixth,
  seventh, and eighth grade levels in the schools selected to
  participate in the pilot project shall be assessed in mathematics,
  science, reading, writing, and social studies using an alternative
  assessment method rather than any assessment instrument that would
  otherwise be required under Section 39.023; and
               (2)  the performance of each school selected to
  participate in the pilot project shall be measured based on student
  performance using an alternative assessment method rather than any
  assessment instrument that would otherwise be required under
  Section 39.023.
         (d)  Each alternative assessment shall be administered under
  this section to students near the end of each school year.
         (e)  The agency shall adopt rules as necessary to administer
  this section, including, notwithstanding any other provision of
  this chapter, rules for determining the level of performance
  considered to be satisfactory on the alternative assessments.
         (f)  The agency shall implement the pilot project beginning
  with the 2012-2013 school year. The agency may consult with an
  institution of higher education in implementing, administering, or
  evaluating the pilot project.
         (g)  Not later than December 1, 2014, the agency shall report
  to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of
  representatives, and presiding officer of the standing committee of
  each house of the legislature with primary jurisdiction over public
  education concerning:
               (1)  based in part on assessment instrument results and
  other performance of fifth grade students before participating in
  the pilot project and of ninth grade students after participating
  in the project, any impact of alternative assessment under this
  section on:
                     (A)  student academic performance;
                     (B)  student performance on assessments;
                     (C)  school attendance by or retention of
                     (D)  curriculum enhancement; and
                     (E)  teacher professional satisfaction; and
               (2)  any recommendation concerning retaining,
  modifying, or expanding the alternative assessment project under
  this section.
         (h)  This section expires September 1, 2015.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2011.