The Texas Writing Pilot Program

This page provides information regarding the Texas Writing Pilot Program established by House Bill (HB) 1164, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015.


As outlined in HB 1164, the purpose of the Texas Writing Pilot Program was to explore alternative, authentic methods of assessing writing in the State of Texas.
During the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 school years, school districts in sixteen regions from across the state implemented pilot activities in grade 4, grade 7, English I, and English II classrooms. The pilot study included the collection and scoring of a range of student writing samples produced throughout the school year. The writing products completed, submitted, and scored were:

  • two timed writing samples completed at the beginning and end of the school year based on a specific writing prompt chosen by each student from a selection of three prompts;
  • two instructional writing process samples from different genres—personal narrative, expository, persuasive, or analytic—that include evidence of a writing process from start to finish (i.e., planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing); and
  • an instructional portfolio containing the writing samples listed above.

During the school year, students participated in writing activities that fit naturally into classroom writing instruction and incorporated the writing process from start to finish, encompassing the breadth of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) writing standards. As the year progressed, students gathered their samples in digital portfolios as evidence of their engagement in the writing process and their ability to write to several different writing genres.

The documents and materials developed to implement the pilot program were developed through a collaborative process between participating regional service center representatives, district representatives, institutes of higher education, TEA, and ETS.


House Bill 1164 Texas Writing Pilot Program Report to the Governor and the Texas Legislature (PDF updated 10/26/18)

Contact Information

For additional information, contact TEA using the Student Assessment Help Desk or call 512-463-9536.