Legislation passed by the 80th legislature, HB 3851, requires the Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to develop a uniform GPA methodology to be used by Texas universities in admission decisions, including Top 10 percent admissions decisions.
New law changing the way districts statewide calculate GPAs
The only thing that may have changed is that some few students are headed to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California (states one poster) so they don't have to mix with the riff-raff. I say good riddance.
As long as the system is the same for all, it's an improvement over what we had.
According to the legislation, the universities have to implement the new methodology starting with fall 2009 admission decisions (i.e., decisions made during the 2008-09 school year). There was unanimous agreement in both stakeholder meetings that the implementation date should be postponed. Paredes said that the legislation left THECB no "wiggle room" on this issue. He vowed to work with legislators to amend the statute at the beginning of the 2009 legislative session to postpone implementation of the Uniform GPA rule until fall 2012.
The K-12 representatives on the panel asked THECB what notice districts should prepare to send to parents and students when school starts, regarding the implementation of the new rules. THECB’s General Counsel noted that THECB has filed a request for an Attorney General opinion seeking guidance on various implementation issues related to Uniform GPA methodology. That opinion is due out by early November 2008.
THECB is planning to issue proposed rules for public comment in July and finally adopt the Uniform GPA methodology during its October board meeting. From that timeline, it is difficult to determine what guidance districts should provide to parents and students.
relating to the admission of high school graduates and
undergraduate transfer students to certain institutions of higher
education, the computation of a student's high school grade point
average for purposes of determining eligibility for admission, and
policies to promote the admission of undergraduate transfer
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 28.0252(b), Education Code, is amended
to read as follows:
(b) If the commissioner develops a standard method under
this section, a school district shall use the standard method to
compute a student's high school grade point average, except that to
the extent of a conflict between that method and the method adopted
under Section 51.807, [and] the student's grade point average
computed in accordance with the method established under Section
51.807 [that manner] shall be used in determining the student's
eligibility for university [automatic college] admission under
Subchapter U, Chapter 51 [Section 51.803].
SECTION 2. Section 51.807, Education Code, is amended to
read as follows:
Sec. 51.807. RULEMAKING. (a) To ensure a uniform standard
for admissions under this subchapter, the [The] Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board shall adopt rules establishing a
standard method for computing a student's high school grade point
average. The method established under this subsection:
(A) be based on a four-point scale; and
(B) assign additional weight for each honors
course, advanced placement course, international baccalaureate
course, or dual credit course completed by the student as the board
considers appropriate, taking into consideration the academic
rigor of each course completed by the student; and
(2) may result in a student having a grade point
average higher than 4.0 on a four-point scale as a result of the
assignment of additional weight for one or more courses completed
by a student under Subdivision (1)(B).
(b) The board may adopt other rules relating to the
operation of admissions programs under this subchapter, including
rules relating to the identification of eligible students [and the
reporting requirements of Section 51.806].
(c) The standard method established under Subsection (a)
for computing a student's high school grade point average applies
to computing the grade point average of a student applying as a
first-time freshman for admission to a general academic teaching
institution beginning with admissions for the 2009 fall semester.
This subsection expires January 1, 2010.
SECTION 3. Section 51.4032, Education Code, as added by
Chapter 694, Acts of the 79th Legislature, Regular Session, 2005,
is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 51.4032. ANNUAL REPORT OF PARTICIPATION IN HIGHER
EDUCATION. Not later than December 1 [July 31] of each year and in
the form prescribed by the coordinating board, each general
academic teaching institution and medical and dental unit as
defined in Section 61.003 shall provide to the Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board and shall publish on the institution's
website a report describing the composition of the institution's
entering class of students. The report must include a demographic
breakdown of the class, including a breakdown by race, ethnicity,
[and] economic status, and high school class standing. A report
submitted by a general academic teaching institution or medical and
dental unit as defined in Section 61.003 must include separate
demographic breakdowns of the students admitted under Sections
51.803, 51.804, and 51.805 and a description of any plans,
policies, or programs developed or implemented by the institution
to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups such as
racial or ethnic minority groups.
SECTION 4. Section 51.808, Education Code, is amended to
read as follows:
Sec. 51.808. APPLICATION OF ADMISSION CRITERIA TO OTHER
PROGRAMS. (a) Each general academic teaching institution or
medical and dental unit that offers admissions to undergraduate
transfer students or admissions to a graduate, postgraduate, or
professional program shall [also] adopt a written admission policy
applicable to those programs.
(b) Each general academic teaching institution shall adopt
a written admission policy to promote the admission of
undergraduate transfer students to the institution. The policy
must provide for outreach and recruiting efforts directed at junior
colleges and other lower-division institutions of higher education
and may include incentives to encourage transfer applications and
to retain and promote transfer students.
(c) A [The] policy adopted under this section shall be
published in the institution's or unit's catalog and made available
to the public.
SECTION 5. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
shall adopt rules as required by Section 51.807, Education Code, as
amended by this Act, as soon as practicable after the effective date
of this Act.
SECTION 6. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
as the board considers appropriate, taking into consideration the academic rigor of each course completed by the student;
Attempts to limit the law could run into trouble in the Senate, where Sen. Royce West, a black Democrat from Dallas, is searching for 11 votes to block a possible floor debate.
Along with Democratic supporters, he's enlisting Republicans from rural Texas whose constituents are benefiting from the law's unintentional side effect: promoting geographical diversity.
Among his potential allies for keeping the 10 percent rule intact, West is courting Republican Sens. Bob Deuell of Greenville, Kevin Eltife of Tyler and the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Steve Ogden of Bryan, the chamber's lead budget writer.
"It's a good rule for a lot of reasons," said Ogden. "It's good because it is a more objective standard than what's been used in the past. It's less subject to political manipulation."
Eltife said the 10 percent rule has greatly helped the rural schools he represents.
"I like 10 percent, actually," he said. "I think it does give (rural students) a better shot. I like the fact that we're giving them something to strive for."
TOP 10 PERCENT LAW
Before Top 10 Percent:
• 616: High schools represented at University of Texas at Austin
• 719 :High schools represented at Texas A&M University
After Top 10 Percent:
• 853: High schools represented at University of Texas at Austin
• 868: High schools represented at Texas A&M university