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“Revealed: The Dumbing Down of Texas’ Public Schools”

By Donna Garner



Under HB 5 (passed by the last legislative session), Texas’ high school graduates will no longer be required to take both World History and World Geography.  They also will not be required to take the capstone course in English which is English IV.  Neither will all Texas graduates be required to take Algebra II and higher-level math and science courses. Not requiring these courses will send our Texas students out into the world bereft of basic foundational knowledge that will plague them the rest of their lives not to mention the fact that Texas public school graduates will go into college and/or careers with a shallow academic degree.  


I tried desperately before, after, and during the 83rd Legislative Session to get people to listen to my concerns about dropping the 4 x 4 graduation plan and gutting the individual student and teacher accountability at each grade level/course level.  Now the Texas State Board of Education, the Texas Education Agency, and local school districts are stuck trying to implement HB 5 which mucks up every public school in Texas.


I stand by my comments; and as each day passes, more Texans are beginning to see the damage that HB 5 is doing.  Here is what I said on 6.17.13 – “For the Historical Record: Texas Will Rue This Day” --



12.26.13 – Dallas Morning News



Texas high school teachers fight plan to scale back social studies

By Wendy Hundley

Staff Writer


Excerpts from this article:


As state officials work out details for implementing the education reforms outlined in House Bill 5, a small but significant backlash is beginning in area school districts.


High school teachers are asking state and local officials to restore the requirement for four credits of social studies that was scaled back to three under the proposed graduation plan.


“Social studies provides a training ground for 21st-century skills,” Amy Harp, a Lewisville High School government and U.S. history teacher, said earlier this month when she addressed the Lewisville ISD school board.


She was one of four LISD teachers who asked the board to require both world history and world geography for high school students.


Such requests are coming at a time when school districts throughout Texas are preparing to revamp their high school curriculums to comply with the new education law that is intended to enhance local control and give students more flexibility.


The legislation eliminated the “four-by-four” plan that required most high school students to take four classes each of English, math, science and social studies, plus some other courses.


It [H. B. 5 graduation plan] requires only three social studies credits for all new graduation tracks: the 22-credit “foundation” diploma as well as the 26-credit “foundation, plus endorsements” and “distinguished level of achievement” diplomas.


… “We are concerned about the diminishing of civic education,” said Francis, who is the K-12 social studies coordinator for the Mansfield school district.


Despite her concerns, she said, Mansfield officials are recommending a 25-credit graduation plan that includes only three social studies credits. “I was overruled,” Francis said.


It’s unclear how many educators are following the lead of the Lewisville ISD teachers in taking their concerns directly to school board members.


The LISD teachers told trustees that world history and world geography help young minds develop critical thinking and writing skills and that both courses are necessary in today’s global economy.


Generally, world geography is a freshman class and sophomores take world history. Under the proposed rules, students will choose between the two courses.


“Just because they both have the word world in them doesn’t mean they can be substituted for one another,” said Erika Lowery, who teaches at the Lewisville High School Harmon Campus.

She said one provides an understanding of geography while the other gives students the necessary historical prospective to understand current events.


Members [Lewisville School Board] agreed that English IV and speech should be options for students, not required courses.


But they were split on whether or not to require Algebra II, world history and world geography.


The State Board of Education is slated to finalize graduation requirements in January. The Texas Education Agency ( is accepting public comments on the proposals


snip >>


Donna Garner





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Comment by Robbi on December 27, 2013 at 11:10pm

I'm from NC and have been volunteering at my child's public school daily (1st year in public school system). He is in 4th grade and they have been doing some math that belongs in high school. Why would we push kids to learn all of this so fast and then cut out Algebra II. (it could be our system is different) But this is going to really hurt kids especially college bound. I had enough troubles with college algebra and had Algebra II.

History: Have these schools not heard of learning from History so we don't make the same mistakes? But then again after seeing what they are teaching in History, now might be best if it was taught at home.

My children had a book fair the week before Christmas break and I was looking at a book for sale about the presidents. I was just curious and took a peek at the Obama pages. Took everything I had to put book down and not throw throw across the room :)

Education just getting worse and worse. We were lucky to be able to afford a private Christian school for first 4 years of my son's and first two of my daughter's education. At least they got phonics. It killed me to take them out but because we lost multichild discount and price went way up so they could start offering financial aid, which we didn't qualify for, so they priced us out. After everything I'm learning, starting to wonder if home-school would be better. Good Luck Texas!

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