I was proud to co-author and support HB 5, which passed in the Texas House of Representatives with nearly unanimous support. This piece of legislation offers meaningful solutions to key issues facing our state’s public high schools and students.
HB 5 reduces the number of end of course assessments from 15 to five, creates one standard diploma that allows every student the opportunity to apply to a four-year university in Texas, encourages students to pursue diploma endorsements in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and business, as well as arts and humanities. It also broadens school ratings so that factors other than standardized tests will contribute to measuring a school’s performance.
I am pleased that three amendments I proposed were added to HB 5. One will give special education teachers more one-on-one time to spend with their students, rather than prepping for tests. Another amendment promotes dual credit for career and technical education students to put towards an associate’s degree or a licensing certification. Finally, I offered an amendment that prohibits individuals connected with or paid by test vendors from serving on Texas Education Agency assessment committees. These are committees responsible for setting testing standards.
While there are many other issues that need to be addressed when it comes to our state public education system, such as fully restoring the $5.4 billion in cuts to public schools, HB 5 is a step in the right direction .