Key Bill on Accountability Coming to House Floor

HB 22 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) is the main House bill on accountability this session. It is scheduled for a floor vote on Wednesday afternoon or evening, May 3.

The most important part of HB 22 would delay implementation of A-F school ratings until the 2019-20 school year, giving the Legislature one more regular session in 2019 to review and possibly replace this ill-advised rating system. The bill also would prohibit labeling a district or school with a single overall letter grade. Instead, schools and districts would be rated in three domains of student performance, school progress, and school climate.

Student performance on state exams could not account for more than 50 percent of the ratings within the student-performance and school-progress domains.

Districts could use multiple other measures of student performance.

HB 22 is not without flaws. It does not address the sanctions scheme tied to ratings that makes for a high-stakes system still too heavily reliant on students’ scores on state exams. It also includes a problematic provision authorizing use of those scores as part of an indicator of teacher quality to be developed by the commissioner of education. The bill also obviously does not simply get rid of the A-F rating system.

Amendments offered on the House floor could improve the bill. But it already represents considerable improvement over the status quo.

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