Round Rock ISD has announced it will submit a request to waive the 15 percent grading requirement for the upcoming State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.
In the meantime, Pflugerville ISD will recommend that its board of trustees approve a waiver as well.
"Transitioning to a new testing system is a challenge in and of itself, and incorporating scores from an unknown exam into a teacher's local grading system is not fair to our students," RRISD Superintendent Jesus Chavez said.
Pflugerville ISD spokeswoman Amanda Brim said the requirement had caused "great concern" for school administrators, teachers, parents and students.
The decisions are a result of a modification to the Texas Education Agency's House Bill 3 Transition Plan.
The modification gives public school districts and charter schools the ability to defer implementation of the statutory provision that requires performance on an end-of-course assessment to count as 15 percent of a student's final grade.
The grading requirement pertains to high school students taking courses with EOC exams. In addition to requiring that students pass the exams in order to graduate, the exams were also slated to count as 15 percent of a student's final grade in the course.
The new rule could cause a student with a passing grade in a course to receive a failing grade due to their performance on the STAAR exam.
At Round Rock ISD, a student in that situation would either have to retake the course in summer school or the following school year.
According to the official notice by Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, giving local schools the option of whether or not to implement the 15 percent EOC rule at this point should help reduce some of the confusion and provide a smoother transition to the STAAR test.
The deferral is only for the current school year and will not apply to the 2012-13 school year.
Students will still be required to achieve a satisfactory average score on all EOCs in a given subject to be eligible for graduation. For example, a student will need to satisfactorily complete all science EOC exams—biology, chemistry and physics—in order to graduate.
"Freshman must meet [satisfactory performance standards] on as many as 12 EOC exams in order to graduate, and this year's tests will still factor into that cumulative score," Brim said.
Pflugerville ISD campuses will share more information about EOC testing in the coming weeks.