State Board of Education Meets to Review HB 5
The State Board of Education (SBOE) met this week to learn more about HB 5, the omnibus bill that changes high school graduation requirements, high school testing requirements and the school accountability system.
SBOE members received a briefing on Section 16 of the bill, the portion that deals with the changes to high school graduation requirements. The SBOE is charged with identifying courses for the new diploma requirements, endorsements, and distinction designations students can earn.
Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff gave a detailed presentation of the various decisions that the SBOE will need to make and suggested a timeline for those decisions, resulting in the adoption of rules for the new graduation plan in January of 2014, prior to the full implementation in the fall of 2015.
Certain aspects of the new graduation plan will be available to current students beginning this school year. Students in high school now may opt to transfer from one of three current graduation plans to the new Foundation Graduation Plan with endorsement.
The SBOE passed a non-binding emergency resolution that they hope will give guidance to school districts about courses that current students who opt to graduate under the Foundation Program may choose to take.
HB 5 greatly expands options for students both in the courses required for the Foundation Graduation Program and through the Endorsement program. NOTE: All students will be expected to graduate under the Foundation Program and to complete one endorsement, unless a parent requests permission for his/her child to graduation under the Foundation Program without an endorsement.
One change is that Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses no longer must cover TEKS for Algebra II (for advanced math credit) or Physics (for advanced science credit). The requirement for advanced math and science courses is that they prepare students to successfully enter the workforce or to enter college without remediation.
Students will be able to earn endorsements in STEM, business and industry, public services, humanities and fine arts, and multi-disciplinary.
TEA has suggested that the SBOE consider requiring four courses for each endorsement. The rule may direct students to take 4 courses for XX endorsement, leaving to the ISDs to identify the courses that may be taken to earn the endorsement. SBOE must approve multiple courses for each endorsement. REMINDER: An ISD must offer at least one endorsement. If they only offer one endorsement, it must be the multi-disciplinary endorsement.
SBOE will adopt rules for the award of performance acknowledgements (PAs) for students. They must decide whether to award PAs only if an industry credential is earned, or if an award may be given to a student that earns a career enhancing credential, but not a credential required for employment.
The SBOE will meet in September and will continue drafting rules for the implementation of HB 5.