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HB 5 Update

November 19, 2013

Changes are coming to CISD that will impact students who are Freshman in Fall 2014.  We have answers to your questions on how the sweeping education reform of House Bill 5 (HB5) will impact your child.

The latest information:

Within the past week, the Texas Board of Education released draft rules detailing the specific provisions of those changes.  A public hearing regarding the proposed changes is scheduled for Nov 20.  Public comment be emailed to SBOESUPPORT@tea.state.tx.us. The SBOE is expected to take a final vote on the new HB 5 graduation program in January 2014.  A summary of the proposed course requirements are detailed in the slideshow below:

FAQ for CISD students:

We asked Tabitha Branum, CISD Executive Director of Leading and Learning, your questions:

  • When will the district post the course offerings for freshman registering for Fall 2014?  When is registration?
    • Branum: We hope to begin registration for current 8th graders, rising 9th graders after spring break.
  • According to the provisions, “A student shall specify in writing an endorsement the student intends to earn upon entering Grade 9.”  Please explain the procedure for CISD students.
    • Branum: We are still designing this process but our MS counselors will design opportunities for parents, administrators and learners to review the new graduation requirements and opportunities, utilize data (such as learning inventories, career interest surveys, etc) and finally make a selection for an endorsement area. The learners can make a change at the end of their 9th grade year if necessary.
  • The proposed guidelines use “credit” and “courses” to describe the path to graduation.  What is the difference?
    • Branum: This language is still be argued in SBOE meetings. For example, any given course can give a differing amount of credit pending the implementation at the district level. For ex, many CTE courses can give .5 credit, 1 credit or 2 credits.   This is impactful for learners because if they are required to take a certain number of “courses” regardless of “credits earned” that could lock up their schedule, etc.
  • Proposed guidelines specifically include dual credit, AP and IB as appropriate substitutes for graduation credit requirements.  What about GT classes?
    • Branum: SBOE did not address GT courses in its regulations because this is so different at each district. GT courses do not receive a different PEIMS numbers through the state so they consider a “GT “ course a differentiated AP, Pre-AP course, etc. A district can choose to have a GT AP course “count” or “substitute” for graduation requirements.
  • Will the district offer a computer language program to satisfy the 2 year LOTE (Language Other Than English) requirement?
    • Branum: We have not made a decision at this time.
  • Will the district offer PE credit for Drill Team, Marching Band, and Cheerleading?
    • Branum: We currently already offer those areas for PE credit pending appropriate certification of the instructors/directors.
  • Will students be able to participate in a community-based fine arts program to fulfill the Fine Arts credit requirement?
    • Branum: We have not designed this yet.
  • CHS currently has in place CTE (Career Technology Education courses), IB, as well as academies: STEM, EMAC, and PSA.  What changes of structure, if any, are envisioned to guide Endorsement options?
    • Branum: Mr. Jasso and I are leading a committee at CHS to determine what changes, if any, will be made as a result of the implementation of HB5.
  • What industry certification/community internship options are being considered?
    • Branum: We are looking at NUMEROUS certification and internship options partnering with Northlake and Brookhaven. Our goal is to have at least 1 certification option in each endorsement area.
  • What is your opinion on the draft rules?
    • Branum: Overall, I am excited that the CISD community has an opportunity to localize its graduation plans to better meet the needs of learners. Coppell’s learners deserve a high school experience that prepares them for a future they create, that inspires them to see what is possible beyond the 4 walls of “school” and provides them flexibility and customization to truly explore areas that they are passionate about. Of course, it will be challenging but we believe it will be well worth the challenge.

The basics:

Want to understand the initial changes imposed by HB 5?  Click here and here for some background information.  Also, here is a nice Prezi detailing the changes brought on by HB5. Some of the biggest changes are:

  • Reduce the number of end-of-course assessments from fifteen to five: English/Language Arts II (reading and writing), Algebra I, Biology, and US History
  • Create a new graduation program: Foundation (basic plan) or Distinguished (adds Algebra II, advanced science, and an endorsement).
    • Endorsements offered for: STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts & Humanities, Multidisciplinary studies
    • Performance acknowledgment for outstanding performance on AP, IB, dual credit, SAT, ACT, PSAT, bilingual studies, industry certification.
  • Impose a new district accountability system that will result in a A-F rating, and consider additional standards to determine that rating.

For the latest information, please check out the Texas Education Agency website.

Do you have more questions on the impact of HB5?  Let us know: newsletter@coppellgifted.org.

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