AUSTIN, TX - Today, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 5, aimed at improving public school education by expanding curriculum options, reducing standardized testing, and enhancing school accountability.
The bill, co-authored by State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), gives students more curriculum flexibility to pursue their individual interests as they prepare to go to college or enter the workforce. The bill also reduced the number of standardized tests required in schools so that teachers aren’t forced to “teach to the test.”
“This bill will give Texas students a greater opportunity to succeed in life by offering more curriculum options to fit their individual goals and talents,” said Bohac. “While its our goal to make sure every child is prepared to attend a four year college or university, the reality is that many will enter the workforce right out of high school; it's our job to recognize that these students will need to be prepared to attend a two year college or technical training school. Research shows that students do better when they believe education is relevant to their lives, and this bill gives students more opportunities to pursue the subjects that interest and motivate them to complete high school. Success will ultimately by measured by whether Texas students are prepared to enter the workforce and attend technical school, or whether they are prepared for success to attend university.”
Bohac added, “The bill also reduces our overdependence on standardized testing and brings much needed balance. The current testing framework costs too much in time, money, and resources that could be dedicated to classroom instruction rather than test preparation. To be sure, accountability has yielded measurable gains in student achievement over the years, but the burden created by excessive testing have grown to large.”
The bill also enhances school accountability through a new state rating system that would measure schools on academic performance, financial performance, and community and student engagement. All three ratings would be released at the same time to provide a clearer understanding of a school's overall track record. It would use the understandable labels of A, B, C, and F.
“School accountability is a vital component of our public education system,” said Bohac. “This new system grades our schools just like we grade our children, giving the public a better and clearer understanding of how their local schools are performing, which in turn creates greater accountability.”
On November 6, 2012, Representative Dwayne Bohac was re-elected to represent House District 138. He is a lifelong district resident.