Oct 20, 2013 by

totalchaoslogoBy Donna Garner



This link explains HB 5 and the decisions that the Texas State Board of Education must make at its upcoming Nov. 19-22, 2013 SBOE meeting.  It is the SBOE and the Texas Education Agency that have had to take HB 5, make some sense out of it, and then establish the new graduation requirements:  General Overview Slides of HB 5 with SBOE Decision Points (PDF, 402KB)



Here is a link to the Proposed Rules for the Foundation High School Program – all of which had to be changed because of the 83rd Legislative Session and its egregious HB 5.  The following PDF is a draft of the verbiage that will be discussed at the SBOE’s Nov. 2013 meeting; and if passed in the Jan. 29-31, 2014 SBOE meeting, this PDF will mandate what Texas school districts must do to comply with HB 5:  Proposed Rules for the Foundation High School Program (PDF, 558KB)


As you can see, HB 5 has caused “fruit basket turn over” for Texas public schools that had just begun to implement the 4 x 4 graduation requirements (this year’s juniors on down).  Now Texas public schools will have to establish so many new courses, tracks, programs, and plans that scheduling of students and the scheduling of their classes will be a nightmare with many opportunities for mistakes to be made on students’ transcripts.


When something is so complicated that even the supposed “experts” cannot understand it, then Texas public schools are in trouble.  In fact, I am sure that few if any of the Texas Legislators actually read HB 5 from beginning to end before they voted for it; and even fewer of them and their staffs understood the chaos that HB 5 would create for schools, students, parents, and teachers.  Who is going to teach all of these many new courses?  Who is certified to teach them?  What will happen when HB 5 is fully implemented is that teachers will have many more and many different class preparations, and the scheduling of students into these multitudinous new classes (most of which can only be offered one period a day) will ultimately be impossible.


Meanwhile, administrators and teachers will take their eyes off the “academic achievement” of the 4 x 4  and will be forced to fixate their time and attention on creating, staffing, scheduling, and developing lessons plans for these many new and varied classes that HB 5 requires them to offer to students.


I wrote the following article on 6.17.13 as soon as HB 5 and HB 866 were passed, and nothing that has occurred so far has changed my mind about what I said:   “For the Historical Record: Texas Will Rue This Day” —



Donna Garner


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