High School State Testing
On June 10, 2013, House Bill 5 was signed by Gov. Rick Perry, resulting in students needing to pass five end-of-course exams instead of 15 to meet graduation requirements. Below are answers to a few common questions about the new legislation.
1. Which end-of-course (EOC) tests are required for graduation due to HB 5?
English I*, English II*, Algebra I, U.S. History and Biology
*reading and writing combined
2. If a student does not pass an EOC that is still required for graduation under HB 5, does the student still have to go to summer school and re-take the exam?
Districts are required to provide summer EOC camps for any student who fails to achieve satisfactory performance on these exams, and students are encouraged to participate at each retesting opportunity.
3. Will EOC exam results be included in students’ grades?
No. HB 5 has eliminated that requirement.
4. What courses will require an EOC test?
English I and English II
1st Testing Administration: Spring
2nd Opportunity: Summer (July)
3rd Opportunity: Fall (December)
Impact on Graduation:
Under current guidelines of House Bill 3 (HB 3), of the 82nd Texas Legislature, the 9th grade class starting in 2011-2012, students will take up to 5 EOC assessments listed above based on their participation in courses. Each student must meet a Satisfactory Academic Performance (Level II) on each EOC assessment they take in order to graduate.
TEA established a four (4) hour time limit (5 hours for English I and II only) for both STAAR grades 3-8 assessments and STAAR EOC assessments. TEA notes that a four hour time limit should provide sufficient time for the majority of students to complete the test. The rationale for time limits aligns Texas testing practices with other timed state and national assessments, i.e. SAT, ACT and AP examinations. Extended time accommodations for students with unique learning needs will continue to be offered.
Once students have taken a STAAR assessment they will receive a score indicating their performance. Students performance will fall in to one of the three categories below:
- Level III: Advanced Academic Performance
- Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance
- Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance
High school students may continue to take the exams until they meet the passing standards.
- If students take their first STAAR EOC assessment in 2012, 2013, or 2014, they will be held to the Phase-in I of Level II Satisfactory performance standards for every assessment in that content area (math, science, social studies, or English).
- House Bill 5 changed the English I reading and writing tests and English II reading and writing tests into one test for each course. Therefore, the state will provide some flexibility to the students in the 2015 and 2016 graduating classes to determine whether students taking these assessment have met their English I and English II graduation requirements. The following is being proposed by Commissioner Michael Williams and would be applied to each course (not across courses) and would require students who took separate reading and writing assessments to meet three criteria: pass one assessment (either reading or writing); meet at least the minimum score on the other; and achieve a combined scale score of 3750 (the phase-in 1 standard), which represents the sum of the scale scores needed to reach Level II for reading (1875) and Level II for writing (1875).