State changes high school graduation requirements - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/7/09

State changes high school graduation requirements

By Brittany Pieper - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Technology, Health, and Speech classes could be a thing of the past for some Texas High School students. The State Legislature changed high school graduation requirements. Law makers hope by dropping some requirements, students will have more flexibility in their courses, but not everyone agrees that this is a good thing.

"I think it's really exciting," said high school student, Kailey Rutherford when she found out she now has fewer required courses. House Bill 3 drops the requirements of a semester of health, a semester of speech, and a full year of technology courses, as well as requiring only two semesters of P.E. instead of three. Instead, students will have more elective courses. "It'll just let us have more time to do what we like to do," said Rutherford. 

However, her dad, Dee Rutherford, who also works at Monterey High School, disagrees. "I don't think it's a very good idea," he said.  He worries students won't learn important skills. "We're a physically inactive society anyway, and now we're going to back off one half year. I think that's a poor decision. Technology, we're a technology driven society, and sure they'll have the classes offered as an elective, but not a requirement," said Rutherford. 

Lubbock Cooper High School says they will have to rethink the way they advertise those courses. "Just because it isn't required, doesn't mean that you don't need it, and we're going to have to make them attractive," said Director of Guidance and Assessment, Pat Brown. 

The bill also expands the number of courses that fill the four required math and science credits. "For a majority of students in the state, I think it will open up some opportunities maybe in some career tech courses," Brown said. 

Now, a student could take Architectural Design instead of Calculus as their fourth math credit.

Right now, Speech is no longer required by the legislature but it is still required by the State Board of Education. However, that could change according to board member Bob Craig.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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