Reducing burdensome, inefficient, and exhaustive standardized testing has been a priority for Representative VanDeaver since being elected to office in 2015. Representative VanDeaver has championed several bills to overhaul the standardized testing system in Texas.
House Bill 1164, written by VanDeaver, became law in 2015. The result of House Bill 1164 was a portfolio writing pilot program that paves the way for a new method of assessing student writing.
House Bill 515, overwhelming passed by the House in 2017, would have saved millions of dollars in taxpayer money and removed unnecessary standardized testing requirements. The bill, had it passed into law, would have eliminated testing administered by the state that is not required by the federal government. The bill would have also redesigned the ineffective, and exhaustive retesting of students who do not pass the state tests in their first attempt. Rather than the current standardized testing system that focuses on testing until you pass, House Bill 515 would have guaranteed students an opportunity to receive help and further instruction before being forced to test again under high stress stakes.
Both House Bill 1164 and House Bill 515 were discussed in a May 24, 2018 House Public Education Committee Hearing.