POSTED: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 4:44pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 11:30am
There may be changes coming to the Texas high school curriculum.
And some are charging that those changes amount to dumbing it down.
House Bill 5 was authored by Representative Jimmie Don Aycock of Killeen, and it changes the basic curriculum requirements to get a high school diploma in Texas.
The math and science requirements are less rigorous and some tech courses can be substituted for kids who are not going to college.
Texas already ranks low among the states in reading, writing and math.
And in terms of being ready for college, only 25% of Texas kids are considered prepared.
And among the ten largest states in the union, we rank 8th in the percentage of kids going to college.
Raymund Paredes, the Texas Higher Education Commissioner says, “So to tell children and their families that we want you to make the choice in the 9th grade which one of these academic tracks you take, is silly.”
Kim Tunnell, curriculum director at TISD told us, “The minimum requirements would be enough for, perhaps not a four year university, but it would be enough for the entrance into college.”
Supporters argue that the bill allows students to take the tougher courses like algebra II if they want.
But who would risk their grade point average doing that?
“We know from all kinds of national data that career and technical education is becoming more complex,” Paredes says. “We know f or example, that the service manual at a Chevrolet dealership has a higher level of reading difficulty than most college texts do. So that we have to make sure that every child gets a solid academic foundation, and the foundation curriculum, despite its name, doesn’t achieve that.”
The bill may be voted on Monday.
A similar bill is pending in the Senate, and it’s chances are good as well.