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An Ode to House Bill 5

April 18, 2014

As a part of the House Bill 5 passed in the 83rd Legislature, new graduation requirements are mandated under the new Foundation High School Program for learners entering Grade 9 in the 2014-15 school year and thereafter. Learners entering Grade 9 in 2014-15 and thereafter will select one or more endorsements to meet graduation requirements by confirming and signing a personal graduation plan with the student and the student’s parent or guardian. 

 A Coppell parent shares her view on course selection in High School under the new House Bill 5, and how she approached helping her child pick an Endorsement. She would however like to say that the light-hearted nature of the poem below should not take away from the fact that the process of selection was actually quite stressful, and required a lot of thinking, discussion and searching for answers.

An Ode to House Bill 5

A few weeks ago, I got an invite,

To go to the high school, on a week night.

On the agenda- Course Selection under House Bill 5,

We’d hear from the counselors, we’d hear them live.


The auditorium was packed, and I took my seat,

The first slides went up, my heart skipped a beat.

These choices are too tough, I wanted to shout,

That’s my teenager you’re talking about.


She is all of fourteen, with no career in mind,career

But she has to pick something? A career that could bind?

She’d be stuck in a path, not free to explore,

She’d be closing her mind, if she opened just one door.



My mind was racing, it was flooded with thought,

How could she best use the strengths that she’s got?

Fine Arts could be good, she could stick with Band,

But what about Business? A good job she could land.


Public Services is a choice, one of so many,

Teacher, Lawyer, Doctor- she could be any.

She’d do well with STEM; it would take her far,

Maybe in her future is a solar-powered car?


An introductory course is required*, and because of that,

An elective she will give up, right off the bat.

What? You have to choose Geography or Art?

All for a career that you may not even start?


When I came home that night, my mind was a mess,

But when I sat with my child, here’s what I did stress.

Fundamentals and Flexibility, that’s what you need,

An endorsement that gives both, is what we agreed.


Focus on your core subjects, get your basics in place.

This is no time to worry about that career rat race.

When you go into the real world, as long as you’ve got,

A good foundation in your fundamentals, you’ve got a lot.


If you know what you want to do, an endorsement is fine,

But if you have no clue, you can still shine.

This is only high school; the time to try things,

And in any case who knows what the future will bring?


When I was a teenager I thought I would be,

A doctor, or a surgeon, yes that was me.

But as I grew up, and I lived and I learned,

An MD was not the degree that I eventually earned.


Who knew where I’d land, what path I would take,

And if I’d only known the mistakes I’d make.

But I was ready for the future, because I was free,

To try every possible avenue open to me.


So my advice to my child is that whatever you chose,

Tell yourself that no sleep should you lose.

Have a big dream but know it could change,

Try many, many things, try a broad range.


This endorsement choice will not define you,

As a path set in stone is not what you’ll do.

The horizon is as far as you want it to be,

For the future is further than your eye can see.



* CISD requires that all students entering class 9 take a Endorsement Introductory course which will give learners an overall view of the career opportunities in each Endorsement area.

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