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RULE §21.52Eligibility for Texas First Diploma

(a) Notwithstanding any other state or local law, a school district or open-enrollment charter school shall allow a student to graduate and receive a high school diploma under the Texas First Early High School Completion Program if the student meets the criteria established in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection. A student who achieves a required score on an assessment to meet the requirement of any one of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, shall be allowed to use that same assessment to meet the requirement of another section if the student's score meets the required minimum for each section.

  (1) The student has met the following minimum criteria at the time of graduation:

    (A) Earned at least twenty-two (22) high school credits by any permissible method, including credit by examination;

    (B) Earned a final Grade Point Average equivalent to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;

    (C) Earned an overall scaled score in at least the 80th percentile on one or more of the following assessments: ACT, SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, TSIA/TSIA2, or GED, or alternatively, has a grade point average in the top ten percent of the student's current class during the current or semester prior to the counselor's or administrator's verification under subsection (b) of this section of a student's eligibility for early graduation under the Program; and

    (D) Completed the requirement for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness End-of-Course (STAAR EOC) examinations for English I or II, Algebra I, and Biology by one of the following methods:

      (i) If the student has taken the STAAR EOC for English I or II, Algebra I, and Biology, the student has achieved the satisfactory level of performance as defined by the Commissioner of Education; or

      (ii) If the student has not taken the required STAAR EOC assessment for English I or II, Algebra I, or Biology, the student has satisfied the STAAR EOC requirement by achieving a passing score on a substitute assessment for that subject area authorized under Title 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 101, Subchapter DD, §101.4002(b).

  (2) The student has demonstrated the student's mastery of each subject area of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and a language other than English through assessments or other means eligible institutions commonly use to place students in courses that may be credited toward degree program requirements. A student may demonstrate mastery of each subject area, as applicable, by meeting one or more of the following criteria:

    (A) Earning a score on the STAAR EOC assessment that meets the college readiness standards necessary to be exempt from application of the Texas Success Initiative as set out in Title 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 4, Subchapter C, §4.54;

    (B) Credit earned in a course in the core curriculum of an institution of higher education in which the student received at least a C; or

    (C) Meeting the standards on the assessments set out in Figure 1.

Attached Graphic

(b) A counselor or administrator at the public school of a student who is eligible for early graduation under the Program must verify that the student meets the requirements in subsection (a)(1) and (2) of this section using a method established by the Coordinating Board prior to issuing a diploma to the student under this Program. A student is responsible for providing the official copy of the assessment results to their counselor or administrator to verify these requirements.

(c) A school that issues a diploma under the Program shall require the minimum number of assessments to demonstrate that the student meets the criteria established in subsection (a)(1) and (2) of this section and may not require a student to take any other STAAR End-of-Course assessment to graduate under the Program, except as required by this section.

Source Note: The provisions of this §21.52 adopted to be effective August 21, 2022, 47 TexReg 4850; amended to be effective February 15, 2024, 49 TexReg 681

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