Noteworthy Bill Filed to Block Testing Excesses in Early Grades: Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna, Democrat of Houston, has filed HB 504 to block the spread of excessive and inappropriate testing to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. HB 504 would restrict both state and district assessments of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. With few exceptions, the bill would bar the Texas Education Agency, the State Board of Education, and school districts from requiring the administration of “a standardized criterion-referenced or norm-referenced assessment instrument, including an achievement test, to students in prekindergarten or kindergarten.”
The only exceptions would be for an instrument to diagnose reading development and comprehension, a test to determine English language proficiency and eligibility for bilingual or other special language programs, or a test to assess learning of specific instructional material, such as spelling, covered in a child's pre-K or kindergarten class. The bill would take effect beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.