FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/12/2013
Representative Huberty applauds Governor Perry's decision to sign HB 5
Kingwood, TX- Earlier this week, Governor Rick Perry took a large step in positive reform for Texas public education by signing House Bill 5 (HB 5) into law. The legislation, authored by House Public Education Committee Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock and coauthored by Representative Dan Huberty, improves education in three critical ways. It allows students more flexibility to explore their individual interests as they prepare for higher education and the workforce, reduces the burden of standardized tests and provides new measures to make schools more accountable.
HB 5 creates a foundation graduation plan that allows high school students to create a personal graduation plan, developed with their parents and local educators, that promotes college and workforce readiness. They are able to earn an additional endorsement in one of five areas: STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts and Humanities or Multidisciplinary Studies. Students may also earn a distinguished endorsement with any diploma.
“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,” said Rep. Huberty.
The new rule also decreases the number of State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exams a student must take to graduate from fifteen to five. These include Algebra I, English I (combined reading/writing), English II (combined reading/writing), biology, and U.S. history. Assessments in Algebra II, geometry, English III, chemistry, physics, world geography, and world history have been eliminated from the testing requirements. Another change will be the combination of reading and writing in English I and English II. The bill also eliminates the 15 percent grading requirement. Under the previous rule, a student’s score on the STAAR end-of-course exams would have counted as 15 percent of the final grade in each tested subject area.
Finally, HB 5 addresses accountability by evaluating schools on more measures than state standardized assessment. It establishes a three category rating system that evaluates schools on academic performance, financial performance and community and student engagement. This will allow local communities to engage in the accountability process by requiring districts to set goals and evaluate performance locally in addition to state ratings.
The 83rd Legislative Session marks Representative Huberty's second term representing House District 127. As always, he remains dedicated to addressing the many issues and challenges that lie ahead for his constituents and all Texans.
Contact: Casey Christman