Industry-Based Certifications for Public School Accountability

PDF Version

August 21, 2017


SUBJECT: Industry-Based Certifications for Public School Accountability

House Bill 22, 85th Texas Legislature, 2017, requires the state to adopt a set of indicators to measure and evaluate school districts and campuses with respect to ensuring students attain the appropriate skills and learning to ensure their preparedness for success in subsequent grade levels and in entering the workforce, the military, or postsecondary education. For evaluating the performance of high school campuses and districts that include high school campuses, statute incorporates recognition of students who earn industry certifications under the student achievement domain and authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules to implement the accountability system.

Statute lacks a workable definition of what constitutes an industry certification. TEC §28.025 authorizes performance acknowledgements on students’ diplomas for those who earn industry certifications.  In 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.14 (e)(2-3), the State Board of Education has recognized certain attributes that qualify various attestations of achievement as recognized industry certifications.  This ensures that the achievement represents the acquisition of foundational skills and learning to ensure meaningful educational attainment.  This also fulfills the public education goal of preparing students for success in postsecondary endeavors, whether they are succeeding directly in the workplace or pursuing higher educational opportunities.

Similarly, the list of industry certifications in proposed new 19 TAC §74.1003 recognizes in the accountability system public schools that establish structures where students acquire the skills and learning needed for success in business and industry. In determining the list, the Commissioner considered the following factors:

  • State-, nationally- or internationally-recognized: Recognition through a national or international business, industry, professional organization, state agency, government entity, or state-based industry association.
  • End of Program: Represents a culmination of knowledge and skills achieved through completion of a program of study in a high school career and technical education program.
  • Stackable: Attainable by high school students and transfers seamlessly to postsecondary work through acceptance for credit or hours at an institution of higher education or to additional industry certifications and opportunities through acceptance by industry as a validated credential for workplace entry and advancement.
  • Valuable for Industry: Demonstrates the skills and abilities necessary to secure entry into high-skill occupations as demonstrated through attributes such as high wage jobs with growth potential.

TEA will conduct an annual review process of the list of industry-based certifications that will include feedback from stakeholders across schools, higher education, business and industry.

For additional information and frequently asked questions about the list of certifications, please see the attached FAQ document. If you have further questions, please contact the Division of College, Career and Military Preparation at


Lily Laux
Executive Director
School Programs

2017-18 Industry-based Certifications for Public School Accountability
Industry-based Certifications FAQ