Texas high school students to get credit hours for playing sports

SHERMAN, Tex. ― This time next year, some student-athletes may be able to get credit to use toward graduation for playing sports. Rita Kotey talked with some school officials to find out what that means for all students, not just student-athletes.

The Texas Education Board approved that students who play any sports could receive up to four credits versus the two they currently receive.

Under the recommended plan taken by most high school students, they need to have 3.5 credits of electives to graduate. The new plan would allow student athletes to fill their physical education requirements and elective requirements while playing sports. The new plan would allow student athletes to fulfill the 1.5 credits in P.E. and 2.5 credits in elective requirements while playing sports.

Sherman Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Al Hambrick says he hopes this plan does not take the focus off of education and put it on sports.

"I do not think that the sports classes should replace any of the core," Dr. Hambrick said.

Hambrick also says the Texas Education Agency will write curriculum standards for the various athletic programs offered. Those standards would be mandatory for all sports.

The changes will take effect in all Texas high schools in the 2009-10 school year.


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  • by TJ Location: New England on Dec 5, 2008 at 10:47 AM
    We recently did a feature at GoCollege.com on the remarkable accomplishments of Parker Goyer, a 2007 graduate of Duke University who recently was selected to receive a Rhodes Scholarship: http://blog.gocollege.com/2008/12/04/duke-university-graduate-parker-goyer-dreams-big-delivers/ While immensely successful in the classroom, it is interesting to note how much she relied on the lessons she learned from athletics in creating her unique service organization.
  • by Bearcat Mom Location: Sherman on Nov 24, 2008 at 09:39 AM
    Ted, why would you say all that? It sounds like you are not a very happy person in your own life. Athletics can teach kids more than just the actual sport, they learn teamwork, responsiblity and trust. Life lessons more important than how to spell certain words like *ACADEMICS* You must not have children in school, well, I do so quite being so mean!
  • by Ted Location: Sherman on Nov 24, 2008 at 05:56 AM
    There is too much of an emphasis on sports already that takes away from the main reason kids are in school to begin with "ACHADEMICS". Too much time & money is already spent on something that should be purely an extra caricular activity. Too many parents & coaches trying to re-live their childhood fantasies through their kids. Filling their heads with empty dreams of being the next one to make it big only to end up with a nowhere job and no future. Yeppers I shoe wuz a gooder futball player!
  • by midniteryder Location: Sherman on Nov 23, 2008 at 01:27 PM
    And the dumbing down continues.....
  • by Mom of Two on Nov 23, 2008 at 05:00 AM
    Don't get all spun up! Two credits is not going to lower the students' IQ's. Under the right conditions sports teaches kids a lot. Maybe not how to sketch a fence post or speak a different languate, but discipline or teamwork or planning or dealing with loss & victory in an acceptable manner. Some of those things are obviously missing in some children's lives.
  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Nov 22, 2008 at 09:24 PM
    The proposal as outlined in the story seems reasonable: allowing athletics to be used to meet the PE and elective requirements. It won't have an adverse impact on academics. Think about it. A kid can play basketball (for example), and not have to take a general PE class to get his PE credit. In so far as electives are concerned, the kid who'll use sports for elective credits probably wasn't weighing down his/her schedule with a tough elective course anyway. Another point, if I may: a kid who is "incapable of basic education requirements" needs remedial classes, not tougher electives.
  • by Employee Location: Sherman on Nov 22, 2008 at 02:45 PM
    To DUUURRR: They are talking about elective courses...ones such as art, choir, etc. They are not talking about sports electives taking the place of math, social studies, science, English, etc.
  • by Former Teacher Location: Sherman on Nov 22, 2008 at 01:50 PM
    Actually, I think this is a great idea. If there is already a requirement for both PE and electives, this seems to fit the bill perfectly. I would think the student would get far more actual exercise in organized sports. Additionally, electives are just that - Electives - usually something in which the student is interested or perhaps related to a career path, if already determined. A very big plus, as I see it, is that there is more time during school hours to study, reducing the after school time required. This amounts to almost one class per semester for all four years. I do think this class time should be formalized into an athletic study hall, if the school day is not already structured to have Study Halls. Years ago in Blue Ridge, I caught holy hell for failing the star basketball player in my Algebra class, making him ineligible for the bi-district game. Lost my job over the matter, too. I do think this is a Win-Win situation for students and teachers alike.
  • by jim Location: sherman on Nov 22, 2008 at 12:32 PM
    They need to get the story straight here. All athletes get 2 credits for all 4 years. Band, Art, Choir, any music class gets 4 credits for all 4 years and have forever. They are just making it fair. All athletes just like band members have to take the core classes. No one is getting out of any classes. Its just allowing athletics to have the exact same credits that all the other extra-curricular activities get. Why should a kid that is in band for 4 years get 4 credits and a kid that is in athletics only get to credits for 4 years? That makes no sense at all.
  • by Moe Location: Whitesboro on Nov 22, 2008 at 09:25 AM
    It seems the Texas Education Board has both managed to improve graduation rates while silencing critics who say too much emphasis is placed upon Athletic Directors (known anywhere else but Texas as a football coach). With Athletic Directors now controlling 14% of the credits necessary for graduation they have truly become educators. I have just one question. In the interest of fairness, when will credit be given for participation in UIL competitions such as History, Math, Science, Speech, or Debate?
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