More electives for Texas students

By: Maddie Garrett Email
By: Maddie Garrett Email

It’s that time of year again – high school students across Texoma have been picking up their schedules for next year. But thanks to a new law pass by Texas legislatures in May, they might be seeing more electives on those schedules.

State lawmakers decided to give all students a break on some of the classes required to graduate.

"It provides them some other options in their electives, if their interest lies in agriculture it gives them a chance to take that other agriculture course that they might not have been able to fit in,” said principal of Sherman High School Peggy Van Marter.

Students will no longer have to take two semesters of health education and computer technology and a semester of physical education. That means students can enroll in six elective courses instead of just four.

Many parents and students see the changes as positive ones.

"They should have that option to take whatever that's going to better their education," said Kelly Harris, who has a daughter in the 11th grade at SHS.

"I think the idea's better, cause then we'll have more choices and we can take a lot more,” said incoming SHS freshman Kady Hall.

But unlike most education laws that would go apply only to incoming freshman of the next year, this one takes effect immediately and applies to all students, unless a school district has stricter requirements.

"When we let one drop a GPA course and replace it with an AP course that they get more GPA points for, now we're not level,” explained Van Marter. “And so to keep a level playing field… our plan is to institute with those 8th grade this year, incoming 9th grade next year.”

Van Marter thinks the plan should have been phased-in, but she understands where state lawmakers were coming from when passing the new legislation.

"For those schools that are on a seven period day, where in the course of four years those kids only have 28 chances to get their 26 [credits] to graduate, it was creating a little bit of a tough situation,” said Van Marter
But Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said she has concerns about teen health issues. She had been pushing for more P.E. in public schools to help fight rising obesity rates, and the reduction in P.E. requirements wasn’t ideal.

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  • by Stephanie on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:37 PM
    i think this would be a lot better for us, students. asa sophmore, i see a lot of my schoolmates struggle because of our main courses. we all look at our electives and vocational classes because those are the ones that help us decide what our future will be. getting 26 credits isn't as easy as you may seem. more electives and more decisions for OUR future will be a lot better because it will help us not have to stress as much over just our main courses. it will open up more opportunities for us, instead of leaving us struggling with what our only choices are right now. i'm looking forward to the change. and im sure Texas students and teachers will be as well.
  • by Smarter than just me Location: Texas on Aug 17, 2009 at 09:44 PM
    If we get rid of ag, what are you going to eat? I hope you starve!!!!!
  • by just me Location: here on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:41 AM
    One would think that with the current students and the career choices today, health education and technology classes would be more beneficial than another ag class. I bet all the ag teachers out there can't wait until their classes fill up with students looking for a goof off class.
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