House Bill 3 K-2 Diagnostics Update: Alternative Kindergarten Diagnostic Tool

Date:  December 18, 2019
Subject: House Bill 3 K-2 Diagnostics Update: Alternative Kindergarten Diagnostic Tool
Category: Early Childhood Education
Next Steps:  Vendor Call: Application for the Identified Commissioner-Approved Alternative Free Kindergarten Diagnostic Tool


TEA seeks to identify a free alternative kindergarten diagnostic tool. This correspondence serves as a notice of the launch of a competitive application process through which eligible entities can apply.

House Bill (HB) 3 was passed by the 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, and signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 11, 2019. Several provisions in HB 3 impact school districts and open-enrollment charter schools (districts and charter schools) serving prekindergarten through third grade students, including provisions related to kindergarten through grade 2 diagnostics. On November 21, 2019, the Texas Education Agency (TEA or agency) released an HB 3 in 30 K-2 Diagnostics video, along with a PowerPoint document and related materials.

HB 3 K-2 Diagnostics Updates
Today, the agency announces that a competitive application process is now available to determine the commissioner-approved alternative kindergarten diagnostic tool. Eligible entities may visit the Early Childhood Education web page to access the application and submit a Notice of Intent to Apply.

Overview of Changes
HB 3 requires the commissioner to adopt a kindergarten instrument that addresses the three developmental domains, including reading. That instrument is TX-KEA. LEAs must implement the TX-KEA screener or the identified alternate to determine kindergarten readiness. Students that are kindergarten ready will not need any further beginning-of-year diagnostics in Emergent Literacy-Reading, Emergent Literacy-Writing, and Language. If students are not kindergarten ready, further diagnostics may be administered in these areas with TX-KEA or other LEA-chosen diagnostic tools to inform instruction. For further information, please see the K-2 Diagnostics presentation.

Commissioner-approved Alternative Diagnostic Tools
LEAs must use TX-KEA or the commissioner-approved alternative diagnostic tool. The tool must have the following characteristics: 1) Offered at no cost to LEAs; 2) Multidimensional and includes Emergent Literacy-Reading, Emergent Literacy-Writing, and Language; 3) Available online; 4) Available in English and Spanish; 5) Provides reports to teachers and administrators; 6) Meets the criteria in the Rubric for Kindergarten Diagnostic, including diagnostic components, results and reports, administration, scope and training of the diagnostic; and, 7) meet the TEA-compliant data reporting requirements listed in the TEDS Data Standards.

Grades 1 and 2
TEA also seeks to solicit proposals for a diagnostic tool offered at no cost. More information will be released on this in January 2020.

If you have any questions related to this letter regarding K-2 diagnostics under HB 3, please contact the Division of Early Childhood by email at  or email We will be compiling answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the webpage as well as TEA’s Early Childhood Education webpage.



Jacquie Porter,
State Director of Early Childhood Education