Before beginning its scheduled hearing on a handful of assessment related bills, the House Public Education Committee heard from seven panels of witnesses — including the commissioner of education, superintendents, teachers and parents — about the reliability and appropriateness of the state's standardized testing system.

The discussion appeared to be prompted in part by a recent article in Texas Monthly magazine titled "Are Texas Kids Failing? Or Are the Tests Rigged?" Several panelists testified that the assessments, at least in some subjects and grade levels, were not calibrated to the appropriate level. One superintendent said, "What STAAR is telling us is that our third-graders can't read on a fifth-grade level." However, Commissioner Mike Morath defended the validity of the test.

The discussion was for informational purposes; no action was taken.

TCTA supported the following bills:

  • HB 525 by Tinderholt, which eliminates state-mandated tests for writing and social studies, and the English II and US History end-of-course exams
  • HB 851 by Huberty, which removes the September 2019 expiration date for the law that provides for individual graduation committees (which can determine whether a student may graduate despite not having passed all required tests)