Nacogdoches students, parents & teachers prepare for HB5 changes - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches students, parents & teachers prepare for HB5 changes


Every spring, students enter high school or college will start looking at what classes they will take the next fall, but with the adoption of House Bill 5 over the summer, students and educators are looking at the process in a whole new way.

One area that House Bill 5 changed was graduation requirements. Under the new system, the former graduation categories of minimum, recommended and distinguished are being taken over by a new foundation diploma. The foundation diploma will allow students to excel in one of five areas: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM classes), business and Industry, public services, arts and humanities and multidisciplinary studies.

When it comes to testing, the bill is reducing the end of course exams from 15 to 5. The courses that will still have end of course exams are English II, Algebra I, Biology and U.S. History.

Because of the changes, schools are now looking at ways to improve the high school experience and at Nacogdoches ISD, the new standards are seen as opportunity.

"The new graduation requirements will be a benefit to our students in respect to that they will be able to take more classes that they are interested in," Principal Kenneth Wooten said.

The changes appear to make elective courses more important and on the surface end of course exams will be less of an issue.

"Until we see what is going to happen next year, we just don't know, but yes less testing is always better," teacher Kim Clark said.

With changes coming so fast, it has many parents looking for details.

"I'm here to find out more about the classes that are offered and this House Bill 5 and what it is going to require," parent Trish Smith said.

Jasmine Patel is a junior and could possibly graduate early thanks to duel credit college classes. She feels that the new curriculum would make what she is doing a common occurrence.

"It's education curriculum," Patel said. "That's what everyone promotes in high school that we should be in college, but why do we need to dumb it down for standard testing."

Smith shares the same feeling..

"I think it is important to give children the opportunity to find out more about the careers they want to pursue in the future," Smith said

The reduction of high school testing requirements went into effect this year, and the changes to the graduation and course credit requirements will go into effect next school year.

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