Assessing Basic Academic Skills in Higher Education: The Texas Approach

By Richard T. Alpert; William Phillip Gorth et al. | Go to book overview

Legislation
The following is the section of the TexasEducation Code that implements the mandates of House Bill 2182, passed by the 70th Legislature in May 1987.§ 51.306. Testing and Remedial Coursework
a. In this section, "board" and "institution of higher education" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003 of this code.
b. All students in the following categories who enter public institutions of higher education in the fall of 1989 and thereafter must be tested for reading, writing, and mathematics skills:
all full-time and part-time freshmen enrolled in a certificate or degree program;
any other student, prior to the accumulation of nine or more semester credit hours or the equivalent; and
any transfer student with fewer than 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent who has not previously taken the tests.

For that purpose, the institution shall use a test instrument prescribed by the board. The same instrument shall be used at all public institutions of higher education.

c. The test instrument adopted by the board must be of a diagnostic nature and be designed to provide a comparison of the skill level of the individual student with the skill level necessary for a student to perform effectively in an undergraduate degree program. In developing the test, the board shall consider the recommendations of faculty from various institutions of higher education.
d. An institution may not use performance on the test as a condition of admission into the institution.
e. The board shall prescribe minimum performance standards for the test instrument. A student whose performance is below the standard for tested skill must participate in a remediation program. An institution may require higher performance standards.

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