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3 Document(s) [ Subject: ]

Committee: House Public Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Academic performance | Charter schools | Dyslexia | Educational accountability | Hurricane Harvey | Learning disabilities | Natural disasters | Public schools | School finance | Special education | Student Success Initiative | Teacher incentive plans | Teacher retention | Teacher salaries | Teacher shortages | Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 Ed84h
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [90 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Determine, to the extent possible, the scope of financial losses, including facilities, that resulted from Harvey. Recommend possible state actions, such as changes to student counts or property valuation, to mitigate any negative impact on districts and ensure governance structures and parameters allow for effective responses.
2. Recommend any measures needed at the state level to prevent unintended punitive consequences to both students and districts in the state accountability system as a result of Harvey and its aftermath.
3. Examine the educational opportunities offered to students displaced by Harvey throughout the state and the process by which districts enroll and serve those students. Recommend any changes that could improve the process for students or help districts serving a disproportionate number of displaced students.
4. Review current state mechanisms for identifying and rewarding educators through state-level strategies. Examine how providing additional funding to enhance compensation in districts facing a shortage of experienced, highly rated teachers would affect retention and teacher quality, in addition to whether it would encourage teachers to provide additional services through extracurricular activities, tutoring, and mentoring.
5. Examine research-based options for evaluating student achievement beyond standardized test scores, including adaptive and portfolio assessments. Examine the scope of the current Texas essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in grades with the state assessment, including the format, assessment calendar, and the limits of instructional days, if any. Determine if it is appropriate to limit TEKS to readiness standards that can be taught in less than the school year. Review current Student Success Initiative testing and make recommendations on its continuation or repeal. Review the ability of the state to waive standardized testing for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
6. Examine programs in public schools that have proven results meeting the needs of and improving student achievement for students with disabilities, with an emphasis on programs specializing in autism, dysgraphia, and dyslexia. Recommend ways to support and scale innovative programs for these students, including providing supplemental services, or incentivizing public-private partnerships or inter district and charter school collaborations. Monitor the implementation and funding for the pilot programs authorized in H.B. 21 (85R) and review the Texas Education Agency's compliance with S.B. 160 (85R), which prohibits special education student caps.
7. Review the charter school system in Texas. Determine if changes are needed in the granting, renewal, or revocation of charter schools, including the timeline for expansions and notification of expansions to surrounding districts. Review the educational outcomes of students in charter schools compared to those in traditional schools, and to what extent schools participate in the alternative accountability system. Monitor the implementation of facilities funding for charter schools. Consider differences in state funding for charter schools compared to their surrounding districts and the impact on the state budget. Consider admissions policies for charters, including appropriate data collection to assess demand for additional charter enrollment, compliance with access by students with disabilities and the effect of exclusions of students with criminal or disciplinary histories. Consider differences in charter and district contributions to the Teacher Retirement System on behalf of their employees and make appropriate recommendations to support the retirement benefits of all public school teachers.
8. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee will also specifically include: H.B. 21 (85R), H.B. 22 (85R), and S.B. 179 (85R).
Committee: House Public Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Academic performance | Curriculum | Dallas County Schools | Educational accountability | Educational technology | Educational tests | Harris County | High school graduation requirements | School boards | School discipline | School superintendents | Teacher evaluations | Teacher quality | Teacher training | Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills | Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System | Truancy |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 Ed84h
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [48 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Monitor the implementation of HB 5 (83R) and report on recommendations for improvement. Work with the Texas Education Agency, the State Board of Education, and public and higher education stakeholders to ensure the creation of additional rigorous mathematics and science courses needed to address the current and projected needs of the state's workforce.
2. Explore innovative, research-based options for improving student achievement beyond standardized test scores. Evaluate standards for effective campus management as well as teacher preparation, certification, and training. Review current teacher evaluation tools and instructional methods, such as project-based learning, and recommend any improvements that would promote improved student achievement. Engage stakeholders on how to recruit and retain more of our "best and brightest" into the teaching profession.
3. Solicit input from leading authorities on the traits and characteristics of good governance, effective checks and balances between the board and administration and the effective relationship between a board and the superintendent. Review current oversight authority by the Texas Education Agency over school board policies on governance. Make recommendations on trustee training, potential sanctions, and means of grievances, as well as recommendations on whether the role of trustee or superintendent needs to be more clearly defined.
4. Review successful strategies and methods that have improved student achievement at chronically underperforming schools. Identify alternatives that could be offered to current students who are attending these schools and determine how to turn these schools around. Identify the benefits and concerns with alternative governance of underperforming schools.
5. Review the broad scope and breadth of the current TEKS in the tested grades, including the format, testing calendar, and the limitation on instructional days available. Recommend options to streamline the assessment of TEKS and focus on core concepts. Review current federal testing requirements in grades 3-8 to determine if testing relief is possible.
6. Examine the role of the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) in serving school districts. Review the programs and services of HCDE, specifically the department’s ability to assist school districts to operate more efficiently. Report any costs or savings the HCDE provides districts and taxpayers. Make recommendations to improve the operation of the HCDE.
7. Study the impact of SB 393 (83R) and SB 1114 (83R). Assess the impact of school discipline and school-based policing on referrals to the municipal, justice, and juvenile courts, and identify judicial policies or initiatives designed to reduce referrals without having a negative impact on school safety. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)
8. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: House Public Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Academic performance | Alternative schools | Charter schools | Disciplinary alternative education programs | Educational accountability | Grade-point averages | High school graduation requirements | Juvenile justice alternative education programs | Parent-school relationships | School discipline | State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness | University Interscholastic League | University of Texas at Austin |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 Ed84h
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [22 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Conduct a review of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) and make recommendations as needed.
2. Monitor state and local implementation of the new state assessment system (STAAR), specifically the impact on students, instruction, teachers, and graduation or promotion rates. Review how districts are implementing the requirement that the end-of-course assessment count for 15 percent of the student's course grade. Recommend any changes to graduation or testing requirements that promote instructional rigor and support postsecondary readiness while appropriately limiting an overreliance on standardized testing.
3. Evaluate the charter schools system in Texas. Examine success and failure stories in Texas and other states. Review the educational outcomes of students in charter schools compared to those in traditional schools. Identify any best practices and how those practices may be applied statewide. The study should include recommendations.
4. Review and make recommendations on the effectiveness of Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEPs) and Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs (JJAEPs) in reducing students' involvement in further disciplinary infractions. Determine the appropriate role of disciplinary alternative placements in promoting education achievement and how technology could be used to supplement education services. Consider appropriate placements in DAEPs or JJAEPs and consistent funding models for those programs. Consider options for counties without a JJAEP or inefficiently few placements in a JJAEP. Identify positive behavioral models that promote a learning environment for teachers to appropriately instruct while addressing any behavioral issues and enforcing student discipline.
5. Review methods and best practices in Texas and other states to encourage more parental and community involvement in the education of Texas children.

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