The state is making some changes to our high school educational system particularly with a new bill that goes into effect this year. Valerie Gonzalez explains what changes students and parents can expect in the classroom.
With the anticipation of the new school year, also comes anticipation brought on by House Bill 5. Now, one of the main changes seen this year will be the reduction in standardized testing for high school students. Beginning this year, high school students will no longer have to take 15 standardized tests; HB5 has cut that number down by two-thirds.
David Canales, the UISD Executive Director of High School Education sympathizes, "We all stress about one test, these kids had to stress about fifteen."
Canales explains this reduction of tests for high school students across the state will reduce stress, but educator Rosa Clara Salazar -- whose class will no longer require a standardized test -- has mixed feelings about HB 5. "My concern is that some teachers are going to be more lax about it, because their students are not going to be tested." Yet, the district maintains they will continue emphasizing the importance of all classes.
The reduction of tests is only part of the change. Next year's high school students will face the next phase of this house bill that will reduce the number of needed credit hours for math and science. Canales explains what else this might entail. "The following school year, you'll be looking at conversations with a new graduation plan. We're moving from DAP, recommended minimum, to a program called 'Foundation', and then there will be some 'Endorsements' involved. They're kind of like pathways to what classes I should take, if I'm planning to go a certain way."
So, although our high school students will be facing a decreased amount of standardized tests, only time will tell what kind of long-lasting impact this house bill will have on our educational system.
House bill number five was signed over the summer on June 10th.