85R2445 GCB-F
  By: Deshotel H.B. No. 546
  relating to limiting certain state-required assessment instruments
  administered to public school students in certain grades to
  assessments required by federal law.
         SECTION 1.  Section 39.023(a), Education Code, as effective
  September 1, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The agency shall adopt or develop appropriate
  criterion-referenced assessment instruments designed to assess
  essential knowledge and skills in subjects for which assessment is
  required by federal law [reading, writing, mathematics, social
  studies, and science].  Except as provided by Subsection (a-2), all
  students, other than students assessed under Subsection (b) or (l)
  or exempted under Section 39.027, shall be assessed in[:
               [(1)     mathematics, annually in grades three through
  seven without the aid of technology and in grade eight with the aid
  of technology on any assessment instrument that includes algebra;
               [(2)  reading, annually in grades three through eight;
               [(3)     writing, including spelling and grammar, in
  grades four and seven;
               [(4)  social studies, in grade eight;
               [(5)  science, in grades five and eight; and
               [(6)]  any [other] subject and grade required by
  federal law.
         SECTION 2.  Sections 39.02301(a) and (d), Education Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  During the 2015-2016 school year, the agency, in
  coordination with the entity that has been contracted to develop or
  implement assessment instruments under Section 39.023, shall
  conduct a study to develop a writing assessment method as an
  alternative to the writing assessment instruments required under
  Section 39.023(c) [Sections 39.023(a) and (c)].  The writing
  assessment method must be designed to assess:
               (1)  a student's mastery of the essential knowledge and
  skills in writing through timed writing samples;
               (2)  improvement of a student's writing skills from the
  beginning of the school year to the end of the school year;
               (3)  a student's ability to follow the writing process
  from rough draft to final product; and
               (4)  a student's ability to produce more than one type
  of writing style.
         (d)  A school district designated to participate in the pilot
  program under this section is not required to comply with the
  writing assessment requirements under Section 39.023(c) [Sections
  39.023(a) and (c)] during the period the district is participating
  in the pilot program.  The agency shall, to the greatest extent
  practicable, apply cost savings that result from the exemption
  under this subsection to offset the costs accrued under this
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.