Texas Students May Need More Credits to Graduate

The number of credits high school students will need to graduate in Texas could soon jump from 24 to 26. The State Board of Education's tentative plan ties in with a new state law requiring every graduate to have four years of math and science instead of three.

The law would start with next year's freshman class. So how do East Texas eighth graders feel about it?

Brandon White said, "It seems to just get easier every year because you learn more each year about math, science, english - just a little bit of everything."

Other students disagree, because requiring more academic courses leaves them fewer electives.

Lauren Watson said, "It could be good for having more knowledge for the outside world and going to college, but then I think it could also be bad for people who want to take vocational classes in art and drama."

"The way it's a good thing is because kids will get to learn more about science and math and then they might have an easier chance of having a job, and then the way it's a bad thing is because a lot of kids will get tired of it and leave class," said Michael Fleeman.

Some East Texas school administrators realize some of their students will have a tough time meeting the new requirements.

Wells school superintendent, Dale Morton, said, "There is a tendency in our state at this point for students who struggle academically, to feel academically challenged by the current curricular requirements. I would observe that students have never been held to higher standards than they are today."

Upon final approval, the new plan would effect high school seniors graduating in 2011. Eighth-graders taking Algebra 1 may count that class toward their four years of math.

The plan to increase the credit requirements for graduation passed Friday. It faces one more vote and is expected to get final approval in November.