AUSTIN – A new research report issued by the Texas Public Policy Foundation recommends that the quality and significance of a high school diploma should be strengthened to improve post-secondary opportunities for all Texas students. The State Board of Education will meet in Austin this week to decide how to implement the legislature’s mandate adding an additional year of math and science to the high school curriculum.
The Foundation has released “Post-secondary Readiness for All Texas Students,” a report by education policy analyst Jamie Story. It emphasizes the need for a more rigorous high school curriculum, and is available online at www.texaspolicy.com.
“Curriculum is a better indicator of post-secondary success than socioeconomic status, standardized test scores, or high school GPA,” writes Story. She notes that a rigorous high school curriculum is necessary for both professional and blue-collar jobs, according to state and national studies.
“Texas students aren’t being properly prepared. Fewer than half of 11th-graders meet the state’s standard for college readiness,” said Story. “It is no surprise that more than forty percent of the state’s incoming college freshmen need remediation. This is a symptom of an inadequate high school curriculum.”
The SBOE originally agreed to a plan that would require students to take rigorous classes through their senior year, but then retreated from that stance during its meeting in September.
Story said this third and final hearing by the SBOE “will have permanent benefits – or consequences – for Texas children.”