Several changes to accelerated instruction made for 2023-2024 school year

HB 1416 adjusts student-tutor ratio, clarifies exceptions to requirement
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:57 AM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - During this year’s legislative session, the state made changes to requirements that MISD says aim to lift students who perform poorly on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test.

By law, each district must provide accelerated instruction to students in grades 3-8 or students who did not achieve “approaches or higher” on STAAR or on end-of-course assessments.

The changes laid out in House Bill 1416 modify those in HB 4545, which was passed during the 87th legislative session.

Andrea Messick, Executive Director of Teaching & Learning, says that accelerated instruction is ultimately about finding what’s best for students.

“It’s not about checking a box,” Messick said. “I can’t thank our Core Content team enough for their work in ensuring accelerated instruction is effective so we can elevate our students and help them be successful.”

Here’s an overview of what has changed in HB 1416.

  • Student-Tutor Ratio: Tutoring group sizes have increased to four students for every tutor. Previously, the student-tutor ratio limited the group to three students. Per TEA, a tutor can be a tutor, paraprofessional or teacher candidate.
  • Subjects Limit: Tutoring is now limited to two subjects, and districts must prioritize math and reading.
  • Accelerated Education Plan: Schools are now required to create an accelerated education plan for each student who fails to achieve “approaches or higher” on two consecutive assessments in the same subject area. Accelerated Learning Committees no longer need to be created for each student.
  • Hours Requirement: Schools are now required to provide either 15 or 30 hours of accelerated instruction for each student over the course of the school year. Thirty hours is required for students who fall into the “Low Does Not Meet” category of STAAR performance and for any students who failed a third grade test in the previous school year. Previously, all students had to be provided 30 hours of accelerated instruction.
  • Exceptions: Students whose current subject-area teacher is designated as part of the Teacher Incentive Allotment program do not have to take part in accelerated instruction. Furthermore, students who take STAAR-Alt 2, are held back a grade, or take substitute high school assessments aren’t subject to requirements.
  • Modification and Opt-Out: HB 1416 clarifies that parents can modify or remove accelerated instruction requirements with a letter to their child’s campus administrator.
  • Notification: The law also clarifies that parents must be notified of student failure to perform on applicable tests.