House Bill 5 Enhances School Accountability, Reduces Standardized Testing and Expands Curriculum Options

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 26, 2013) . . . The Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 5 on second reading today with broad bipartisan support.

The legislation, authored by Public Education Committee Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock (R – Killeen), improves education in 3 critical ways: It gives students more flexibility to explore their individual interests as they prepare for higher education and the workforce; it reduces the burden of standardized tests, which play too large a role in our education system; and it provides new measures to make our schools more accountable.

Chairman Aycock said, “This bill gives all Texas students the opportunities they need to succeed in life by offering multiple rigorous pathways in high school. Our goal is to prepare all students for success, not just those going to four-year colleges.”

Aycock added, “Research shows that young people stay engaged in education when they believe it is relevant to their lives, and this bill gives students more opportunities to explore the subjects that interest and motivate them. The bill will also make Texas students better prepared for the jobs that Texas employers are struggling to fill.”

A new state rating system would measure schools on academic performance, financial performance, and community and student engagement. All three ratings would be released at the same time to provide a clearer understanding of a school’s overall track record. It would use the understandable labels of A, B, C, D and F.

Rep. Dan Huberty (R – Humble), Republican Caucus Secretary and a member of the House Public Education Committee, said, “The current one-size-fits-all model for high school does not fit the needs of every child, which is a problem for our students and our economy. Texas is a great place to do business, but our workforce is aging, and our schools aren’t producing nearly enough skilled workers to fill the gap. This bill provides flexibility for students to develop their individual talents and pursue jobs that match those talents.”

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