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How Curriculum Standards Will Work Under New Education Law

Christopher C. Leonard
TEA Commissioner Michael Williams.

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has posted a draft of a how the curriculum standards will work with a new law creating multiple educational pathways for Texas students.

The new curriculum standards were created by House Bill 5 that passed during the 2013 regular session, it creates career-technical and college-ready pathways for students.  

The Texas Education Agency’s Debbie Ratcliffe said a draft of that program mainly centers on what students have to do to get an endorsement, which she says works like picking a college major.

"So they’ve got to get a 22-credit program under their belt. If they want to get these endorsements, which are specialty areas like science and engineering, business and industry, fine arts and humanities, they have got to first meet some perquisites."

Ratcliffe said right now the State Board of Education is suggesting any student wanting these endorsements will have to take Algebra II as well as four related classes.

Ratcliffe said the rules will be finalized at the beginning of 2014 and will be in effect for high school students next fall.

She said for the next three years students will still have a choice whether they want to take part in this foundation program or use the traditional graduation plans that ranges from minimum to distinguished pathways.

The State Board of Education and Texas Education Agency have scheduled a public hearing on the draft of the new variety of educational pathways and their standards the morning of Nov. 20.