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2015 Legislative Accomplishments
A-F Public School Ratings
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A-F school ratings provide an easily understood, simple, and transparent way for parents, educators, and the public to gauge how schools are performing. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, public school districts and individual campuses will be issued an overall school rating. Districts and campuses will also receive ratings for five performance indicators such as academic proficiency, student growth, and locally selected measures. A-F public school ratings passed as part of a broader bill on public school accountability.
Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability
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The Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability will bring together experts, educators, business leaders, and parents to study, develop, and make recommendations for new systems of student assessments and public school accountability. This 15 member commission will provide a blueprint that will move public education in Texas into the 21st century. The Commission was passed as part of a broader bill on public school accountability.
- Creates a quality Pre-Kindergarten grant to provide an additional $1,500 per eligible student for districts that provide an enhanced curriculum, employ certified Pre-Kindergarten teachers, develop a parental engagement plan, and collect data to measure effectiveness of their programs (House Bill 4)
- Establishes a reading training academy for teachers in kindergarten through 3rd grade (Senate Bill 925)
- Establishes a math training academy for teachers in kindergarten through 3rd grade (Senate Bill 934)
- Establishes a reading excellence team pilot program to employ master reading teachers to help improve reading instruction at low-performing campuses (Senate Bill 935)
- Grants public charter schools the same rights, such as immunity and governmental liability, as traditional school districts which will protect them from excessive and frivolous lawsuits (House Bill 1171)
- Allows innovative districts to opt-out of some state mandates in order to implement locally designed programs to improve student achievement (House Bill 1842)
- Improves quality admission standards for those interested in becoming educators (House Bill 2205)
- Allows public charter schools the ability to be given flexible payments vs. equal monthly payments to allow them to better manage their finances (House Bill 2251)
- Extends the period in which a board of managers can operate in lieu of an elected school board if the district failed to serve taxpayers or students well (House Bill 3106)