This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa (belinblank.org). The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (accelerationinstitute.org), and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in Texas  

Texas state policy specifically permits acceleration.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergartenState policy specifically permits. In general, students must be 5 years old on or before September 1 to enroll in kindergarten, but a student younger than five years of age is entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program if: (1) the student performs satisfactorily on the assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023(a) to students in the third grade; and (2) the district has adopted a policy for admitting students younger than five years of age. More information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Kindergarten (opens PDF).
Early entrance to 1st grade

State policy specifically permits. TEC §42.003(c) states that a child may be enrolled in first grade if he or she is 6 years old by the beginning of the school year, has been enrolled in a first grade program in another state, or has successfully completed kindergarten in another state. Any five-year-old child may be assigned to 1st grade is the local district determines it appropriate. More information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Kindergarten.

Whole-grade acceleration

Texas schools offer 4 assessment windows and assessment results are used to make whole-grade acceleration decisions. "A school district must provide at least one window to test between January 1 and March 31, one window to test between April 1 and June 30, one window to test between July 1 and September 30, and one window to test between October 1 and December 31 annually when each examination for acceleration for each primary school grade level and for credit for secondary school academic subjects required under Texas Education Code, §28.023, shall be administered in Grades 1-12 unless the examination has an administration date that is established by an entity other than the school district. A student may take a specific examination only once during each window. The testing window must be designed to meet the needs of all students. The dates must be publicized in the community." (19 TAC §74.24)

Early high school graduationTexas Graduation Requirements are arranged into a three tier program. The Credit by Examination policy can be used to meet these requirements. In addition, the Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program provides tuition and fee assistance to students completing grades 9–12 early or with a significant number of college hours.
Early entrance to college

There are several early entrance to college programs in Texas, including the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities and the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS).


Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or universityState policy specifically permits dual enrollment in high school and college. Each LEA determines the earliest grade/age permitted to dual enroll, and whether high school credit is awarded for college courses. Lamar University's dual credit programs offer dual enrollment opportunities for high school students.
Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy leaves LEA to determine. State policy specifically allows students to receive high school credit for courses taken in middle school.
Advanced Placement®State policy permits. More information is available on the Texas Education Agency Advanced Placement webpage.
Talent SearchThere is no in-state talent search program in Texas, but gifted students in TX can participate in regional and national talent search programs such as those offered by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center or the Duke University Talent Identification Program.
Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy specifically permits proficiency-based promotion. Students are allowed to receive graduation credit for proficiency, and advancement options are left to the LEA to determine but can include dual/concurrent enrollment or grade/course advancement.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

Section 3.3C of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students, based on 19 TAC §89.3(4), is included under district Curriculum and Instruction requirements for gifted-identified students.  Under 3.3C and 19 TAC §89.3(4), for a district to be in compliance, "Opportunities are provided to accelerate in areas of student strengths."  In the State Plan, acceleration is defined as "strategy of mastering knowledge and skills at rates faster or ages younger than the norm." The provisions of this statute are primarily of importance for grades K – 5, because subject-based acceleration is included in the whole-grade acceleration provisions for grades 6-12. See the Texas State Plan for more information


Additional Information

Texas Department of Education Gifted Website
Texas Education Agency
Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2012-2013 (a report by the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and the National Association for Gifted Children), Websites, professional literature, and personal communication. The Acceleration Institute has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not warrant its accuracy or fitness of use for any purpose. Users should verify information prior to taking any action. Furthermore, the appearance of selected programs and/or resources does not imply an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only.