• Commissioner defers 15 percent grading policy for one year

    Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced today that is he deferring implementation of the new 15 percent grading requirement connected to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness end-of-course examinations.

    He took this action after receiving input from parents, educators and State Board of Education members, as well as statutory clarification from state leaders.

    He issued the following statement:

    "Based on my conversations with the Governor's Office and clarification of legislative intent from the House and Senate, I am modifying the Texas Education Agency's House Bill 3 Transition Plan. The modification gives public school districts and charter schools the ability to defer implementation of the statutory provision that requires performance on an end-of-course assessment to count as 15 percent of a student's final course grade. The modification applies only to the 15 percent grading requirement in Chapter 39 of the Texas Education Code, and will affect only the 2011-2012 school year. For this school year, the ultimate decision whether to include end-of-course exam scores as part of course grades will be determined locally by school districts and charter schools.

    "The law still requires students that are first entering the ninth grade in the 2011-2012 school year to achieve a cumulative score on the end-of-course assessments to complete their graduation requirements. Districts and charters choosing to defer implementation of the 15 percent requirement for the 2011-2012 school year will only need to notify TEA of that decision. Districts and charter schools will receive instructions from the agency regarding this policy change next week.

    "I remain committed to rigorous public school accountability, and to implementing the reforms in Senate Bill 1031 from the 80th Legislative Session and House Bill 3 from the 81st Legislative Session. The new assessment system will be better for students and educators, and will better ensure Texas students are ready for postsecondary success."

    Texas Education Agency