Assessment Graduation Requirements as Amended by Senate Bill (SB) 149

Word Version

May 11, 2015

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT: Assessment Graduation Requirements as Amended by Senate Bill (SB) 149

This correspondence is to inform you that with Governor Greg Abbott’s signing of SB 149 on May 11, 2015, there are immediate and significant changes to the state’s assessment graduation requirements, first effective with this year’s graduating 12th grade class. Emergency commissioner rules to amend the assessment graduation requirements have been filed with the Texas Register and are effective immediately. The emergency commissioner’s rules can be viewed at the following link: 

SB 149 has revised the state’s assessment graduation requirements for students enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade for the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, or 2016-2017 school years. A student who has failed the EOC assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses may receive a Texas high school diploma if the student has qualified to graduate by means of an individual graduation committee (IGC). Under the legislation, a student may not graduate under an IGC if the student did not take each required EOC assessment or a commissioner-approved substitute assessment for each course for which there is an EOC assessment http://tea.texas.gov/interiorpage.aspx?id=25769821114(corrected link)

Regardless of any IGC action, a district must still provide a student an opportunity to retake an EOC if the student has not previously achieved satisfactory performance on an EOC or substitute assessment for that subject. 

SB 149 also allows a student who did not pass the Algebra I and/or English II EOC assessment(s) a second time to use the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment to meet the EOC requirement for the corresponding course. A student must receive a TSI score indicating readiness to enroll in entry-level freshman coursework.

Both the IGC and TSI provisions expire September 1, 2017. 

The emergency rule action was filed on May 11, 2015, and will be effective for 120 days. In conjunction with the emergency amendment, an identical proposed rule item was filed for publication in the May 29, 2015 issue of the Texas Register. The proposed rule amendment is intended to replace the emergency amendment upon expiration.  The proposed rule will include a 30-day public comment period and may be amended prior to adoption based on public comment or other factors.

Questions concerning the implementation of a district’s IGC should be directed to the agency’s curriculum division at (512) 463-9581. Questions concerning the TSI should be directed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board at (512) 427-6111.

Sincerely,

Michael Williams
Commissioner of Education