November 2018 Committee on Instruction Item 5

Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency

November 16, 2018

COMMITTEE ON INSTRUCTION: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item provides an opportunity for the committee and board to consider extending the test vendor contracts relating to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter C, Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency. The current three-year contracts expire August 31, 2019 and allow for two one-year extensions.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §7.111.

TEC, §7.111, requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to adopt rules to develop and deliver high school equivalency examinations and provide for the administration of the examinations online.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION:
The SBOE adopted 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter C, Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency, to be effective September 1, 1996. Rules in 19 TAC Subchapter C, were last amended to be effective December 25, 2016.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
In January 2015, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released a competitive request for proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals for a provider for the Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency examination. At the April 2015 SBOE meeting, TEA staff presented the results of the RFP. The SBOE requested that TEA extend the existing provider’s Memorandum of Understanding for six months beyond the expiration date and begin the development of a new RFP to potentially identify multiple test providers.

At the July 2015 meeting, the committee held a public hearing. Additionally, at the July 2015 meeting, the board approved a decision matrix of requirements to be included in a future RFP. During the September 2015 meeting, the board approved the competitive RFP to be released in fall 2015.

On January 29, 2016, the board voted to award contracts to three separate companies to provide high school equivalency assessments in Texas. The three companies are Data Recognition Corporation, Educational Testing Service, and GED Testing Service. On September 16, 2016, the board gave the chair authority to sign new contracts with vendors beginning October 8, 2016, or when the vendors were ready to provide services and staff and the board chair were confident the vendor was able to execute the terms of the Request for Proposals.

On November 18, 2016, the board approved expanding the entities eligible to serve as official paper-based testing centers and defined the requirements for paper-based testing centers.

FISCAL IMPACT: None.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: None.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
Individuals will have access to appropriate examinations aligned to Texas standards in order to be able to earn a Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: None.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: None.

ALTERNATIVES:
None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

Staff Members Responsible: Cindee Tonnesen, Assistant Director
Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency
College, Career, and Military Preparation

Attachment:  Statutory Citations