5 Million Reasons to Expand Options for Career/Tech

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Texas public schools educate 5 million students. These students are the future of our state and the engine for our economy. But the current one-size-fits-all curriculum provides little room for career and technical courses that could lead to an industry certification or licensure. Support more flexible graduation plans that give students greater motivation now, and a wider range of options after they graduate.

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5 Million Reasons to Expand Options for Career/Tech

  1. 1. WHO EDUCATES 5 MILLION TEXAS STUDENTS? Texas public schools educate 5 million students. 91% These students are the future of our state and the engine for our PUBLIC economy. But the current one-size-fits-all curriculum provides little SCHOOLS room for career and technical courses that could lead to an industry Private Schools 6% Public Charters 3% certification or licensure. Support more flexible graduation plans that give students greater motivation now, and a wider range of PUBLIC SCHOOLS PRIVATE SCHOOLS PUBLIC CHARTERS options after they graduate. 4,823,842 313,360 154,278 “Our current one-size-fits-all approach is tracking students today. It is tracking many of them to drop out. We must do better and give all students more options with equal rigor.” – Dr. David Anthony, CEO, Raise Your Hand Texas More Flexible, Relevant Course Options Are Needed Dropouts Increase with Lack of Relevant Coursework Students are required to take 26 credits in order to graduate While Texas has made progress on reducing dropout rates, dropout under the state’s preferred graduation plans, the Recommended rates for Hispanic and African American students in particular High School Program (RHSP) and the Distinguished Achievement remain unacceptably high. Research shows that creating a direct Program (DAP). This leaves only a few elective credits available link between coursework and future career opportunities can to pursue career and technical education (CTE) courses – provide the necessary relevance to keep students interested in school even fewer for students participating in athletics or band. and engaged in learning. In addition, the State Board of Education has approved only a small number of CTE courses that can be counted towards Skilled Workforce Missing for Available High-Paying Jobs the fourth credit of math or science credit under existing Texas employers report they have high-paying skilled jobs available, graduation requirements. Only 11 CTE courses can be used to but a lack of qualified applicants to fill them. Economic development satisfy the fourth credit of science, all heavily focused in health experts indicate that our ability as a state to prepare and graduate science fields. Only 3 CTE courses can be substituted for the a skilled workforce is one of the greatest potential obstacles to our fourth credit of math. continued success in attracting business and investment. TAKE ACTION Here’s what the Texas legislature can do to keep public schools strong: • Create greater flexibility in graduation plans for Texas high - Encourage school districts to apply to the State Board school students with courses of comparable rigor. of Education for approval of additional career and technical education courses. Require the SBOE to act on these proposals • Increase the number of approved CTE courses that satisfy within 180 days or the courses are deemed approved. the math and/or science requirements for graduation under the Recommended High School Program. - Direct State Board of Education to review available CTE courses from its 2009 study, and expedite revision and approval of these - Direct the State Board of Education to increase the number courses to provide additional CTE courses for students that of approved CTE courses by a date certain. satisfy math and science graduation requirements. LEGISLATIVE ADVERTISING PAID FOR BY: David Anthony, CEO, Raise Your Hand TexasCAREER/TECH 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2070 | Houston, TX 77027 P 713.993.7667 | F 713.993.7691 | www.RaiseYourHandTexas.org

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