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Senate Committee on Education - 79th R.S. (2005)

Committee Members
Florence Shapiro, Chair
Royce West, Vice Chair
Kip Averitt
Kyle L. Janek
Steve Ogden
Todd Staples
Leticia Van de Putte
Tommy Williams
Judith Zaffirini
Charges
• Review and make recommendations on any improvements necessary for the state's accountability system, especially as it relates to closing and measuring achievement gaps. The committee should study the feasibility of establishing statutory minimum or baseline performance standards for state education policies. Such a review should include a thorough study of the current assessment structure and make any recommendations about moving to other formats such as end of course testing. The committee shall also make recommendations on how to incorporate alternative delivery methods when assessing student performance.
• Study and make recommendations on educational reforms necessary to focus high schools and student performance on post-secondary readiness and success.
• Review the operation of the State Board of Education, including its oversight of the Permanent School Fund, and make recommendations, if necessary, for appropriate legislative oversight and review.
• Study the impact of pay-for-performance and differentiated pay scales on teacher recruitment and retention. Examine alternative approaches to improving teacher retention. Study value-added assessment/individual student growth measures as a factor in determining compensation for teacher effectiveness. Examine programs in other states that expand the range of teacher salaries and provide incentives for effective teachers to remain in the classroom. Make recommendations for changing teacher salary structures.
• Review and make recommendations, if necessary, that streamline and clarify Chapter 37 of the Education Code dealing with student discipline. Include a study of state accountability measures for disciplinary alternative education programs to evaluate academic performance and effectiveness in modifying behavior. Include a study of the effects of zero tolerance practices and other changes made by the 79th Legislature. Include a review of after school prevention programs.
• Evaluate the impact of successful school choice programs on students, parents, and teachers
• Review and make recommendations that address the state's facility infrastructure needs for public schools, including ineffective models for state funding as well as efficient methods to ensure responsible use of public tax dollars. Joint Charge with Senate Finance Committee.

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