A Short History of Standards Based Reform in Texas

1979
• Congress establishes U.S. Department of Education.

• .Senate Bill 350 provides major increases in state funding; requires criterion-referenced tests to assess minimum skills in reading, writing, and mathematics for third, fifth, and ninth grade students; provides for gifted/talented demonstration programs; provides state aid for rapid growth districts; set up a balanced cycle system for adopting textbooks; and provides minimum staffing for school districts with 1,000 or fewer students. The test mandated in this bill became known as the Texas Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS), which was given from 1980 to 1984 (Texas Education Agency Biennial Report 1980–1982, Highlights from a Decade of Change, p. 1).

1981
House Bill 246 repealed laws requiring specific courses or subjects to be taught, established 12 subject areas which constituted a well-balanced curriculum through Grade 12, and required the State Board of Education to establish the essential elements of each subject area by grade levels (Texas Education Agency Biennial Report 1980–1982, Highlights from a Decade of Change, p. 1).

1983
State uniform curriculum and essential elements were established for kindergarten through grade 12 (Field Trip Statistics, Intercultural Development Research Association).

1985
• In April 1985, the State Board awarded a $4.7 million contract for developmental assistance and administration of the Texas Examination of Current Administrators and Teachers (TECAT). A $9.8 million contract also was awarded for developmental assistance and administration of the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS) (Implementing Education Reform, A Report to the Texas Legislature from the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency, 1984–1986, p. 39, January 1987).

In October 1985, the first TEAMS exit-level test was administered (Implementing Education Reform, A Report to the Texas Legislature from the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency, 1984–1986, p. 39, January 1987).

1986

In February 1986, TEAMS tests were administered for the first time in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9 (Implementing Education Reform, A Report to the Texas Legislature from the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency, 1984–1986, p. 40, January 1987).

• In March 1986, the TECAT was administered to 202,000 educators in three shifts at 846 different test sites across the state (Implementing Education Reform, A Report to the Texas Legislature from the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency, 1984–1986, p. 40, January 1987).

• In April 1986, TEAMS tests were administered for the first time to students in the first grade (Implementing Education Reform, A Report to the Texas Legislature from the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency, 1984–1986, p. 40, January 1987).

1990

A more rigorous state test, called the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), is introduced, replacing the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS). TAAS will be the yardstick by which student performance is measured for the next 12 years.

1993
• In May 1993, the legislature adopted Senate Bill 7 revising the state funding system; wealthy districts were provided five options to reduce wealth (this came to be known as “Robin Hood”); 021713_1328_AShortHisto1.png criteria were established to create ratings for an accountability system, including district performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), attendance, dropouts, and other criteria; and procedures were outlined for the removal of students to alternative education centers (Field Trip Statistics, Intercultural Development Research Association) .

1997
In May 1997, the Essential Elements were upgraded to reflect higher expectations for students—the new curriculum standards became the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) (Field Trip Statistics, Intercultural Development Research Association).

2001
In June 2001, the Texas Education Agency announced that the more rigorous student assessment instruments scheduled to replace those administered under TAAS in 2003 would be named the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills or TAKS (TASA XPress News, June 28, 2001).

• In 2001, lawmakers toughened testing and promotion requirements, beginning with the 2002–2003 school year. The more rigorous assessments, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), were aligned with the student learning standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), adopted by the State Board of Education in July 1997 (Measuring Up: Explanation of Overview, Texas Business and Education Coalition).

2002
In January 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law, which authorized appropriations through fiscal 2007 (school year 2007–2008). This law represented perhaps the most sweeping reform in education since the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (TASA XPress News, November 7, 2002).

2002–2003

• Beginning with the 2002–03 school year, the TAAS test changed to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test for grades 3 to 11. This test, designed specifically to assess students’ understanding of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), has an additional requirement for students in the area of promotion—the Student Success Initiative (SSI). Students enrolled in the 3rd grade must pass the reading section of the TAKS test in order to be promoted to the 4th grade. Should a student not meet the requirement, he/she will have two more opportunities to take and pass that portion of the test. The exit-level test required for graduation changed to the 11th grade rather than the 10th. In future years, additional testing requirements must be met in the 5th and 8th grades (Texas Public Schools Week Kit, TSPRA, March 2003).

2004–05

Beginning with the graduating class of 2004–05, Texas students must pass new 11th grade exit-level tests as a high school graduation requirement. This new higher graduation standard is part of Senate Bill 103 enacted in 1999 (Measuring Up: Explanation of Overview, Texas Business and Education Coalition).

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Short History of Standards Based Reform in Texas

  1. wayne says:

    I am looking for a pdf of house bill 246 passed by the texas legislature that started geography instruction in texas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s