Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 2118
By: Olivo
Public Education
Committee Report (Substituted)


Under current law, a student is required to pass the exit-level Texas
Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests before being allowed to graduate
from high school. Twenty percent of students fail the exitlevel TAAS tests,
many of whom subsequently dropout without receiving a diploma.  C.S.H.B.
2118 creates alternative graduation criteria for students who do not pass
the TAAS tests. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the commissioner of education in
SECTION 1 (Section 28.025 Education Code) and SECTION 2 of this bill. 


C.S.H.B. 2118 amends the Education Code to require the commissioner of
education to prescribe by rule no later than June 1, 2002 compensatory
alternative graduation criteria that a student may meet to graduate and
receive a diploma without complying with provisions requiring satisfactory
performance on a secondary exit-level assessment instrument.  The bill
provides that the criteria include a student's grade point average
beginning in grande nine, current class ranking, individual and combined
scores using only the student's highest scores on the assessment
instruments, and overall academic performance in grades 9-12.  The bill
requires a committee composed of the student's high school principal or a
designee and two certified teachers in the student's district who teach at
the high school level to determine whether a student has met the
alternative graduation criteria.  The bill requires the commissioner to
adopt rules no later than June 1, 2002 relating to the selection and
operation of a committee, including notification of the student and the
student's high school registrar of the committee's decision.   The bill
sets forth provisions relating to when the committee is required to make
its determination. 


September 1, 2001.  The Act applies beginning with the 2002-2003 school


C.S.H.B. 2118 differs from the original by adding provisions relating to
when a committee is required to determine if a student has met alternative
graduation criteria (criteria).  The substitute provides that the criteria
must be compensatory and include a student's current class ranking rather
than 12th grade class ranking and a student's combined highest scores on
assessment instruments rather than just the combined scores.  The
substitute specifies that the two teachers on the committee that determines
whether a student has met the criteria be certified teachers.