HB 4545 Accelerated Instruction Overview
House Bill 4545 was recently passed in the 87th Regular Legislative Session. The new statute is effective, as of June 16, 2021, with accelerated instruction practices required during the 2021-2022 school year for all students, based on results from Spring 2021.
HB 4545 establishes new requirements for accelerated instruction for students who do not pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®). At a high level, the legislation includes:
- Elimination of grade retention and retesting requirements in grades 5 and 8
- For any student who does not pass the STAAR test in grade 3, 5, or 8 in math or reading, a new LEA requirement to establish an accelerated learning committee to develop an individual educational plan for the student and monitor progress
- For any student who does not pass the STAAR test in grades 3–8 or STAAR (EOC) end-of-course assessments, clarification of prior accelerated instruction requirements, specifying that it must include either:
- Receiving supplemental instruction before or after school, or embedded in the school day
- Under HB 4545, parents have the right to request a different teacher. Honoring requests will depend on teacher availability and balanced classrooms.
Accelerated Learning Committees in Future School Years:
Starting summer 2022, LEAs must establish ALCs and develop individual student plans after scores are received, which may take place before the end of that school year or during the summer and prior to the start of the school year, based on the latest STAAR results.
Additional Statutory Highlights
Retention and Retesting Requirements
A student in grade 5 or 8 is no longer required to be retained at the same grade level based on STAAR.
Grade placement committees have been eliminated, though school systems still have the flexibility to retain students if deemed appropriate locally.
In grades 5 and 8, there is now only one mathematics and reading testing opportunity. Prior law incorporated two retesting opportunities for students if the students did not perform satisfactorily on the initial assessment.
Supplemental Instruction Requirements
- Deliver targeted Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-aligned instruction for the applicable grade level and subject areas.
- Be provided in addition to instruction normally provided to students in the grade level in which the student is enrolled.
- Be designed to assist the student in achieving satisfactory performance in the applicable grade level and subject area
- Not be scheduled such that a student is removed from any of the following:
- Instruction in grade-level content for the foundation curriculum
- Instruction in enrichment curriculum for the grade level in which the student is enrolled
- Recess or physical activity that is available to other students enrolled in the same grade level.
- Be provided for no less than 30 hours total during the summer or subsequent school year. If provided during the subsequent school year, it should include instruction no less than once per week.
- If a student does not pass both math and reading STAAR tests, they will need to meet the 30-hour requirement for each of the two subject areas.
- Utilize effective instructional materials designed for supplemental instruction.
- Be delivered in a 1-on-1 or small group environment, with no more than 3 students in a small group, unless the parent waives this provision by signing an acceleration plan recommended by the district to allow instruction during the school day or a combination of settings.
- Be provided by an individual with training in aligned instructional materials and under the LEA’s oversight.
- Accelerated instruction entails either 1) assigning a classroom teacher who is a certified master, exemplary, or recognized teacher, or 2) delivering supplemental instruction (i.e., tutoring) before or after school, or embedded in the school day and meeting HB 4545 requirements.
Accelerated Learning Committees (ALC’s)
For any student who did not pass the 2021 STAAR test in grade 3, 5, or 8 in math or reading, each campus must establish an accelerated learning committee to develop an individual educational plan for the student and monitor progress. Intervention plans must be developed and put into place starting on August 2, 2021. An ALC must also be conducted for a student who did not take the STAAR test; TEA records any student who did not take the exam as a student who did not meet Approaches or higher. Only students in these grade levels must have a formal ALC, but the other grade levels must have a plan and process to monitor student achievement during the implementation of each accelerated plan.
ALC Committee Configuration
TEA has not released the preliminary guidelines for ALC, but for now, Fabens ISD will include the following groups as part of the ALC. The required members must include:
- An Administrator
- Teacher in the Content Area that student did not meet Approaches
- Other staff as deemed appropriate
ALC Meeting Process
The process for the ALC will be to review the areas in which a student qualifies for the accelerated instruction and schedule the sessions and times that students will be attending. During the meeting, the committee should also review the testing calendar so that parents/students can understand when the next STAAR exams will be administered. The meeting should also include an outline of the interventions that will be used and review data from the last administration that the student took. All stakeholders should leave the ALC meeting knowing what areas that the student needs support, times/dates of the intervention sessions, and an overview of the interventions that will be provided.