In the Spring of 2013 the 83rd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 5, which made substantial changes to the state’s curriculum and graduation requirements, assessment program, and accountability system.
The bill created a new graduation plan called The Foundation High School Program, which is intended to provide students with more flexibility. A Distinguished High School Program also will be available. Students who are freshmen in 2014-15 will be the first class to fall under the graduation requirements in HB5.
The DSHS College and Career Academies that were implemented during the 2013-14 school year for the freshman class established a framework with which the HB5 requirements align closely. Dripping Springs High School counselors are communicating with parents and students about how these changes will affect them and continuing to guide students as they progress on their academic paths.
House Bill 5 requires students to pass five State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exams to meet the new graduation requirements: Algebra I, English I (combined reading/writing), English II (combined reading/writing), Biology and U.S. History.
In addition to curriculum/graduation changes, HB5 included an element that localizes accountability for school districts and schools. This system requires districts to develop a method for evaluating themselves as a whole and each individual campus, based on the following criteria:
- Fine arts
- Wellness and physical education
- Community and parental involvement
- The 21st Century Workforce Development program
- The second language acquisition program
- The digital learning environment
- Dropout prevention strategies
- Educational programs for gifted and talented students
- The record of the district and each campus regarding compliance with statutory reporting requirements
In Dripping Springs ISD, the District Advisory Council has developed measures that will be used for this rating process in 2014.
The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) has compiled a list of resources from various sources related to HB 5 that may be helpful to parents and students, as well as districts. It can be found at: http://www.tasanet.org/domain/175
This webpage includes links to other websites that contain resources and information pertaining to the new graduation requirements, as well as the student and community engagement accountability requirements.
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS:
Presentation to Board: HB5 and DSHS Academies