TX to require ALL students get STW
on-the-job vocational credentials
WA educators, TX is making a BIG mistake in forcing ALL students
to take school-to-work vocational training. Let's hope Bergeson and
friends aren't THAT nuts.
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 18:08:17 -0600
To: Education Consumers Clearinghouse
From: Jeanne Donovan
Subject: TECA/ECC: ACTION ALERT! LAST NAIL IN STW COFFIN PENDING!
SCHOOL-TO-WORK IN TEXAS
LAST NAIL IN THE COFFIN
TEXANS PROPOSE TO CHANGE CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS
This message should be of interest to all Americans, especially as Governor
Bush is a likely candidate for President. Our Governor is leading the
charge for school-to-work in Texas. Thus, it is in everyone's interest to
be certain Bush knows your thoughts about school-to-work, as well as how
his response will affect your vote for his candidacy.
On January 15th and 16th, the Texas Education Agency is proposing an
unprecedented statutory requirement for graduation from high school,
requiring students to earn a votech "license" in order to graduate. No
other state in the nation requires a license.
Texas parents and legislators beware. The Texas Education Agency is
planning to amend high school graduation requirments without your full
knowledge and without legislative oversight.
The proposed amendments are flawed, and they codify federal government
dictates at the state level. Some changes downsize the amount of
traditional content in the courses in order to make room for vocational
requirements. The consequences of these changes is that students will have
fewer academic choices, and they will be required to take vocational
training whether they want to or not.
Other than posting a general notice on their web site
the upcoming vote, no effort has been made by the Texas Education Agency to
seek a public mandate.
On January 15th and 16th, the Committee on Instruction of the Texas State
Board of Education will have its first reading on amendments to 19 TAC
Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements. Some of the amendments include:
* Change "United States History" to "United States History Studies
Since Reconstruction" -- This means that after eighth grade, students will
not study history prior to Reconstruction; therefore, intellectually mature
students will not have an opportunity to re-examine our constitutional
history in depth.
* Change "United States Government" to "Government" -- Why is this
necessary? What role do they see for government?
* Delete English IV (Academic) (i.e., twelfth-grade English) -- Why
remove an academic course, and what will replace it?
* Delete all elective science courses previously approved as part of
the foundation curriculum and substitute "any state board of education
approved science course in 19 TAC Chapters 112, 121, or 123" -- Why, and
what will be the Board's criteria for selection? What guarantee is there
that the choices will be "real science," and that they do not overlap in
* As currently written, students working on the Distinguished
Achievment Program diploma have to meet these criteria: (1) create an
original research project, (2) achieve high test scores for the College
Board Advanded Placement exam, the International Baccalaureate exam, or the
PSAT, and (3) earn a grade of 3.0 or higher on courses that count for
The proposed amendment, if approved, will also require every DAP
student to earn a "license" (i.e., skill certificate), awarded by a
professional board or association for a specific votech occupation. Some of
the occupations include jailer, auto mechanic, crop advisor, real estate
agent, cosmetologist, nursing assistant, home health aid, and SABRE travel
In order to earn this votech license, students must enroll in
vocational courses, pass professional exams, and work on the job--all in
addition to their academic coursework. -- This unprecedented change does
not "add choices" to their curriculum--it limits and defines them! This is
an unfair expectation of college-bound students who have already gone the
extra mile in their education.
NOTE: If you would like to have a fax of all the proposed changes, call
Jeanne Donovan at 817/346-7068 or send an e-mail request to
There are several options. Please do as many as you can.
1) Inundate Governor Bush's public comment line (1-800-252-9600) with
requests to stop all further changes to high school diplomas until he
receives a public mandate to adopt them. Concerned citizens from other
states should call 1-512-463-2000. Remember that Governor Bush will
probably run for President. Let him know how his response will affect your
vote for his candidacy.
2) Call the State school board trustees, especially your district
representative. You'll find contact information at
http://texaseagle.org/legcon/education.htm. Members of the Instruction
Committee include Geraldine Miller, Chairman, Mary Helen Berlanga, Robert
H. Offutt , Grace Shore, and Rosie Collins Sorrells, Ed.D.
3) Call or e-mail your legislators and ask them to demand
congressional oversight. Visit the Texas Eagle Forum legislative page for
contact information at http://texaseagle.org/legcon/index.html.
A general note: Representative's e-mail is:
"firstname.lastname@example.org" and your Senator's e-mail is:
4) Contact members of the Texas House and Senate Committees on
Education. You'll find them at
5) Write a letter to your local paper protesting these proposed
changes. Many papers now take letters by e-mail. If you want to get your
letter printed, follow their guidelines. (See below)
6) Contact other media across Texas, including major daily newspapers,
radio, and television networks. You'll find everything you need to locate
them at http://texaseagle.org/legcon/media.htm.
7) Give public testimony at the SBOE meeting in Austin. Visit
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/input/ for details on how to do this. For
time and location of the Committee on Instruction meeting, go to
8) Share this letter with friends, neighbors, teachers, and even
school board members.
Direct all questions to:
Jeanne Donovan, Coordinator
Education Consumers Association of Fort Worth and Crowley
The most important education we do is that which we do first at the primary
and secondary level - N. Donovan
EDUCATION CONSUMERS CLEARINGHOUSE