Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile

Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile - Texas

This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites and was fully updated in 2016. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth at 303.299.3689 or with questions regarding state policies on this issue.

Advanced Placement 2016
All high schools/districts required to offer AP No. However, all districts are required to offer students the opportunity to earn the equivalent of at least 12 semester credit hours of college credit in high school, via AP, IB, dual credit, articulated postsecondary courses provided for local credit or articulated postsecondary advanced technical credit courses provided for state credit, or any combination thereof.
State financial support for AP course offerings/AP success Yes. Statute authorizes a school to be awarded $100 for each student who scores ≥ 3 on an AP exam. The principal of each school participating in the program must convene, at least annually, a team of up to five members, with at least three teachers, to include at least one AP teacher and at least one teacher who teaches students in preparation for AP participation, to determine the use of funds awarded. 

Statute also authorizes a one-time award of $250 for teaching an AP course for the first time, and $50 to be deposited in the teacher bonus pool for each student in the school that scores ≥ 3 on an AP exam. AP teachers may be awarded a share of the teacher bonus pool, which must be distributed by the teacher's school in shares proportional to the number of courses taught.

While statute provides schools may receive a one-time $3,000 equipment grant for providing an AP course, the $3,000 equipment grant was last funded in the 2002-2003 biennium.

A school district is entitled to an annual allotment of $275 for each student in average daily attendance in grades 9-12 in the district. A school district or campus must use these funds for one or more of specified uses to advance rigorous coursework, including to implement or administer a program that encourages students to pursue advanced academic opportunities, including AP courses. At an open meeting of the board of trustees, each school district must establish annual performance goals for programs, activities, and strategies implemented with high school allotment funds related to the certain performance indicators, including enrollment in advanced courses, including AP courses.
AP participation/success included in high school accountability metrics/reporting Yes, for accountability and reporting. Accountability: Performance indicators for high schools must include the percentage of students who have completed an AP course.

Reporting: Texas Performance Reporting System (TPRS) postsecondary readiness indicators include, among others:
  • Advanced/Dual Credit Course Completion
  •  AP/IB course participation
  • AP/IB performance.
In addition, the commissioner must establish in rule an academic distinction designation for districts and campuses for outstanding performance in attainment of postsecondary readiness. The commissioner must adopt criteria for the designation, including percentages of students who earned an AP exam score to be awarded college credit.
State programs and funding for teacher training Yes. An AP teacher may receive a subsidy of up to $450 for teacher training.

In the definition of "College Board Advanced Placement," state board regulations require that a College Board-approved AP Program foster teacher professional development.
State subsidies for testing fees Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $7 in spring 2016 after state, federal, and College Board grants are applied.

In addition, statute authorizes:
  • A student earning ≥ 3 on an AP exam to receive up to $65 reimbursement for the testing fee. The reimbursement must be reduced by the amount of any subsidy awarded by the College Board. However, according to a June 2007 Texas Education Agency report, the $65 test fee reimbursement has never been funded by the state.
  • A student demonstrating financial need to be entitled to a subsidy for an AP exam fee paid by the student. On approval by the state board, the state education agency may pay each eligible applicant an equal amount, not to exceed $25 for each applicant.
State scholarship criteria include AP scores Yes. To receive an initial TEXAS (Towards EXcellence, Access, and Success) grant, a student who is a first-time undergraduate must be a graduate of a public or accredited private high school in Texas who completed the foundation high school program or its equivalent and have met any two or more of the following academic eligibility requirements:
  • Earning of the equivalent of at least 12 semester credit hours of college credit in high school via AP, IB, dual credit, or postsecondary articulated coursework, or successful completion of the course requirements of the IB diploma program
  • Satisfaction of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) college readiness benchmarks prescribed by the coordinating board on any assessment instrument designated by the coordinating board, or qualification for an exemption
  • Graduation in the top one-third of the person's high school graduating class or graduation from high school with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale or the equivalent
  • Completion for high school credit of at least one advanced math course following the successful completion of an Algebra II course or at least one advanced career and technical or technology applications course.
Collaboration on AP between K-12 and higher education systems Yes. A public junior college may enter into an articulation agreement to partner with one or more school districts located in the public junior college district to provide on the campus of the public junior college a dropout recovery program for students under 26 years of age who meet certain criteria. A public junior college entering into such an agreement must offer advanced academic and transition opportunities, including dual credit courses and college preparatory courses, such as AP courses.

An interim benchmark payment of $250 is authorized for any, not to exceed 4, of 7 benchmarks achieved by an eligible student participating in the program, including a student who earns a score of ≥ 3 on an AP exam.
State support for encouraging access to AP Yes. Each school year, a school district must notify the parent of each district student enrolled in grade nine or above of the availability of programs in the district under which a student may earn college credit, including AP programs. A district may provide this notification on its website. The notification must include the name and contact information of any public or private entity in the district offering a program allowing high school students to earn college credit.

In addition, during the first school year a student is enrolled in a high school or at the high school level in a charter school, and again during each year of a student's enrollment at the high school level, a school counselor must provide information about postsecondary education to the student and the student's parent. The information must include information on the availability of programs in the district under which a student may earn college credit, including AP programs.

The Texas Virtual School offers AP courses. Statute directs the administering authority of the state virtual school network to conduct certain activities to ensure that a full range of electronic courses, including AP courses, are offered to students in the state. An AP course must have documented approval from the College Board as an AP course prior to submission for Texas Virtual School Network course review.

In the definition of "College Board Advanced Placement," state board regulations require that a College Board-approved AP Program provide access to AP courses for all students willing to enroll in the rigorous academic curriculum of AP courses as prescribed by the College Board.

The standards for the Exploring Careers course for students in grades 7-8 call for the student to analyze college and career opportunities. The student is expected to explore opportunities for earning college credit in high school such as AP courses.
State postsecondary institutions must award credit for minimum scores Yes. Each institution of higher education that offers freshman-level courses must adopt and implement a policy to grant undergraduate course credit to entering freshman students who have earned qualifying scores on AP exams. In establishing the minimum required AP exam score for granting course credit for a particular lower-division course, an institution of higher education may not require a score above 3 unless the institution's chief academic officer determines, based on evidence, that a higher score on the exam is necessary to indicate a student is sufficiently prepared to be successful in a related, more advanced course for which the lower-division course is a prerequisite.

Institutional policies must:
  • Establish the institution's conditions for granting course credit, including the minimum required scores on AP exams
  • Identify the specific course credit or other academic requirements of the institution, including the number of semester credit hours or other course credit, that the institution will grant to a student who achieves required scores on AP exams, based on correlations identified by the higher education coordinating board between the subject matter and content of courses offered by each institution of higher education and the subject matter and content of courses and examinations in the AP program.
In addition, the higher education coordinating board, in consultation with institutions of higher education, the board's Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee, and other interested parties, must conduct a study on the performance of undergraduate students at institutions of higher education who receive undergraduate course credit for achieving required scores on one or more AP exams. The study must compare the academic performance, retention rates, and graduation rates at institutions of higher education of students who complete a lower-division course at an institution and students who receive credit for that course for a score of ≥ 3 on an AP exam, disaggregated by score. A progress report is due by January 2017 and a final report must be submitted to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the standing legislative committees with primary jurisdiction over higher education by January 2019 regarding the results of the study and any recommendations for legislative or administrative action.
Student must take AP exam to receive course credit No
Unique characteristics The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board must collaborate to identify each school district with one or more high schools that has had an average of at least 26 students in the high school graduating class during the preceding 5 years, and for any 2 consecutive years during the preceding 5 years, have been among the lowest 10% of high schools in the state in the percentage of students graduating from the high school and enrolling for the following academic year in an institution of higher education. 

A district notified by the state education agency as meeting these criteria must enter into an agreement with the Texas public institution of higher education in closest geographic proximity to the district to develop a plan to increase the percentage of the district's graduating seniors who enroll in an institution of higher education for the academic year following graduation. A plan developed under these provisions:
  • Must establish clear, achievable goals for increasing the percentage of the district's graduating seniors, particularly the graduating seniors attending a high school described above, who enroll in an institution of higher education for the academic year following graduation
  • Must establish an accurate method of measuring progress toward the goals established in the plan, which may include the percentage of district high school students and the percentage of students attending a district high school who are enrolled in a course for which a student may earn college credit, including an AP course.
A district must permit a home-schooled student entitled to attend public school in the district to participate in an administration of the PSAT/NMSQT or an AP exam. Home-schooled students pay the same amount for each AP exam as students enrolled in the district are required to pay. A district must post on its website the date the PSAT/NMSQT will be administered and the date any AP exams will be administered. The noticemust state that the PSAT/NMSQT or the AP exam is available for home-schooled students eligible to attend school in the district, and describe the procedures for a home-schooled student to register for the test.

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