Changes To Come For High School Graduation Requirements 6/10/13
June 10, 2013
Odessa - Governor Rick Perry signed two new bills into law on Monday that significantly changes educational standards for students in Texas. The law "rolls-back" the number of high-stakes tests needed for graduation, and seeks to provide greater opportunities for students who are not college bound.
The new law drops the number of required state tests from 15 to 5. "House bill 5" will also replace the current "minimum"..."recommended"...and "distinguished" graduation plans starting in 2014.
“I just think 15 was way too many exams, way too many,” said ECISD Communications Director Mike Adkins.
For the past two years, students entering ninth grade have had one thing on their minds. By the time they are seniors, they must pass 15 end of course exams, or they won’t be walking the stage. But this bill changes it all.
“There were 15 of them required for students to pass to graduate from high school, this bill is going to reduces that to five – English one, English 2, Algebra 1, Biology, and U.S history,” said Adkins.
However that’s not all that is being changed by this massive bill, beginning next year every 9th grade student will have a completely different graduation plan. No more, minimum recommended and distinguished plans.
“What we have referred to as forever and ever as a diploma plan, graduation plans, are going to be very, very different, it’s going to go from those three to the one with an opportunity to supplement the other courses that count as core. Really different, those are the kids that need to be paying attention,” said Adkins.
What this does is allow students to chose from four endorsement tracks – ranging from college prep to career readiness.
“What they’ve tried to do with the new form, the new graduation requirement is flexibility, you do have to push academics, but it can be done to the career and technical field,” said Adkins.
The school district is still waiting to hear more from the state as to if they are expecting the schools to offer the other 10 courses during summer school, however Adkins says - of course those who have registered for summer school should still show up.