Discussion of High School Graduation Requirements
September 15, 2011
COMMITTEE OF THE FULL BOARD: DISCUSSION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: NO ACTION
SUMMARY: This item provides the opportunity for the board to discuss updates to the graduation requirements, including allowing additional courses to satisfy certain graduation requirements.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §7.102(c)(4), §28.002, and 28.025.
BOARD RESPONSE: This item is presented for review and comment.
PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted rules in 19 TAC Chapter 74, Subchapter F, to be effective September 1, 2005. Amendments to this subchapter were adopted to be effective January 9, 2007; December 25, 2007; and August 23, 2010.
FUTURE ACTION EXPECTED: At the direction of the board, proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008, could be presented for first reading and filing authorization at the next scheduled SBOE meeting.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: The amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008, adopted by the SBOE in November 2006, included changes to reflect the four years of mathematics and science graduation requirements of House Bill (HB) 1, 79th Texas Legislature, Third Called Session, 2006. These changes only applied to the Recommended High School and Distinguished Achievement Programs found in 19 TAC §74.63 and 19 TAC §74.64.
The 81st Texas Legislature, 2009, passed HB 3, amending the TEC, §28.025, to increase flexibility in graduation requirements for students. While HB 3 removed SBOE authority to designate a specific course or a specific number of credits in the enrichment curriculum as requirements for the Recommended High School Program, the SBOE retains authority in the foundation and enrichment curriculum for the Minimum High School Program and the Distinguished Achievement Program.
In January 2010, the SBOE adopted amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Subchapter F, to incorporate changes to high school graduation programs in light of new graduation requirements from HB 3.
The amendments removed the one-half credit health graduation requirement and the one credit technology applications requirement from all three graduation programs. Additionally, the amendments decreased the physical education requirement by one-half credit and eliminated the requirement that students take the Foundations of Personal Fitness course in all three graduation programs. The changes adjusted the list of activities that may substitute for physical education credit. The amendments also added a requirement that students on the Minimum High School Program complete a fine arts credit for graduation.
In addition, the amendments allowed three career and technical education (CTE) courses to count for the fourth mathematics credit and two CTE courses to count for the fourth mathematics credit under the Distinguished Achievement Program. The SBOE approved changes allowing five new CTE courses to count for the fourth science credit under the Recommended High School Program and Distinguished Achievement Program. Additionally, changes were adopted allowing the Professional Communications course to satisfy the speech graduation requirement and the Principles and Elements of Floral Design course to satisfy the fine arts graduation credit.
The board also adopted an amendment allowing IPC to continue to satisfy a science graduation requirement on the Recommended High School Program provided that it is successfully completed prior to chemistry and physics. The SBOE approved a provision in 19 TAC Chapter 74, Subchapter F, to ensure that science and physical education graduation requirements successfully completed prior to the 2010-2011 school year would count toward graduation in the manner established at the time the credit was earned. The board also approved a provision allowing students who are unable to comply with all of the requirements for a physical education course, due to a physical limitation certified by a licensed medical practitioner, to satisfy the requirements of the Recommended High School Program or Distinguished Achievement Program diploma by demonstrating proficiency in the relevant knowledge and skills that do not require physical activity.
In May 2010, the SBOE amended 19 TAC Chapter 74, Subchapter F, to allow two- or three- credit career and technical education work-based training course completed prior to the 2011-2012 school year to satisfy the physical education graduation requirement.
In January 2011 the SBOE approved a new course, Advanced Quantitative Reasoning, to satisfy the fourth mathematics graduation requirement. In April 2011, the SBOE adopted revisions to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in technology applications. The adopted changes allow Digital Art and Animation and 3-D Modeling and Animation to satisfy the fine arts graduation requirement.
FISCAL IMPACT: Fiscal impact will be assessed after the SBOE gives direction regarding proposed amendments to bring forward for first reading and filing authorization.
PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT: Benefits include added flexibility for students regardless of the graduation program they select.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: Implications will be assessed after the SBOE gives direction regarding proposed amendments to bring forward for first reading and filing authorization.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: Paperwork requirements will be assessed after the SBOE gives direction regarding proposed amendments to bring forward for first reading and filing authorization.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: None.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.
Commissioner of Education
Staff Members Responsible:
Anita Givens, Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs
Norma Torres-Martinez, Director of State Professional Development
Monica Martinez, Managing Director, Curriculum
I. Statutory Citations
II. Text of Current 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter A, Required Curriculum, §74.3, Description of a Required Secondary Curriculum
III. Text of Current 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008