Texas Requiring Districts to Identify and Support Struggling Students

Under a new state law, Texas is requiring school districts to provide all students who do not perform proficiently on the state’s reading and math assessments with an accelerated learning plan. The legislature, in House Bill 4545, said that students not at least approaching grade level in reading or math on state assessments must be provided with accelerated instruction. The instruction can include pairing the student with a highly effective teacher or providing the student with at least 30 hours of accelerated instruction (such as summer school or after-school tutoring) in the subjects in which they are struggling. Federal recovery funding will be instrumental in district implementation of the legislature’s vision, and it is yet to be determined how each district specifically will use the funding.  

We are spotlighting this because the law requires districts to use data to identify struggling students and empowers schools to develop specific plans to help students in the areas they need it.

Reviewer Analysis

National Parents Union

The best way we know to overcome unfinished learning is by getting the children who we have identified as having the greatest needs access to a highly qualified teacher. This is fantastic. - Keri Rodrigues

The Rural Alliance

We encourage the district to personalize the accelerated learning for each student, to really learn why these students are in need of accelerated learning: attendance, Family, traditional education,etc. - Kevin Jacka

TNTP

It is uplifting to see that the state of Texas is requiring all schools to identify all students who exhibit significant deficiencies in the areas of math or reading and then provide a targeted accelerated learning plan for them. - Dr. Tequilla Brownie

Dale Chu

Texas’ concerted attempt to link data with intervention is an encouraging practice, though early indications are the original law may have been too rigid (e.g., where did the 30 hour requirement come from?). But directionally, this is something states should consider and build upon.

Leslie Villegas

English learners’ performance on statewide reading and math assessments is directly linked to their English proficiency level. Therefore efforts in line with this new law need to ensure that ELs identified as low-performing are paired with the appropriate linguistic support as well as academic.

John White

This law is not perfect, but kudos to Texas for focusing energy on an important need and for focusing dollars on capitalizing a service that is essentially unfunded.

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