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The 411: Youth

State sets new bar for high school exams

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July 24, 2013 | 1,726 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- Under House Bill 5 (HB 5), passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature and signed by the governor, high school students are now required to pass only five State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exams to meet the new graduation requirements. This is down from the target previously set of passing 15 exams, according to the Texas Education Agency.

The five assessments include Algebra I, English I (combined reading/writing), English II (combined reading/writing), biology, and U.S. history.

Students who have taken a required assessment, but have not yet passed, will still need to demonstrate satisfactory performance on that exam to meet the state’s graduation requirements.

Reading and writing --currently assessed separately in English I and English II -- will be combined and given in a single day.

High school students who have passed English I or English II reading but not the respective writing, or vice versa, will still need to successfully complete the second test to meet graduation requirements.

English I and English II assessments that combine reading and writing will be available beginning in spring 2014. High school students who have not successfully completed a separate reading or writing assessment by that time will take the new combined English I or English II test.

Assessments in Algebra II, geometry, English III, chemistry, physics, world geography, and world history will no longer be required. End-of-course assessments will continue to be offered in Algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history.

HB 5 also eliminates the 15 percent grading requirement. Under the rule previously connected to these end-of-course exams, a student’s score on the STAAR end-of-course exams would have counted 15 percent of the student’s final grade in each tested subject area. The STAAR end-of-course cumulative score component has also been eliminated.

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