Education Reform Timeline

tabTexas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – This document was prepared by the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Business. You may use this as you see fit for your HB 5 stories.

In 1984, Texas Legislature passes HB 72 which requires students to pass high school tests – administered beginning in 10th grade – to graduate from high school.  Then Rep. Bill Hammond authors the successful amendment.

In 1993, Texas Legislature adopts school accountability for students to meet minimum levels of performance on state assessments.  Under Texas Education Agency (TEA) rules, with business support, state acceptable rating could initially be earned by a campus with a 25% student pass rate.

In 1993, Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) – prompted by Texas Business and Education Coalition (TBEC), Texas Association of Business (TAB), Texas Chemical Council, Governor’s Business Council (GBC) eliminates many low-level courses and creates the Recommended High School Program (RHSP).

The original RHSP requires algebra I & II, geometry, biology, chemistry physics, English I-IV, US history, world history & geography, government & economics and two years of the same foreign language.

In 1999, the RHSP becomes the eligibility requirement for the TEXAS Grant, though only 15% of Class of 1999 completes it.  Then Rep.-Henry Cuellar a major author.

In 1999, the Legislature passes a bill to create grades 3-11 tests, resulting in 11th grade TAKS to assure basic proficiency in English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR), math, science, and social studies.

By 2001, more than 300 school districts had made the RHSP the default graduation plan.  The entire El Paso region makes the 4×4 the graduation expectation.

In 2001, the Legislature makes the RHSP the default graduation plan. Then Rep. Grusendorf passes the bill, supported by TBEC, LULAC, MALDEF, NAACP and business organizations.  At the time, 35% of Class of 2001 graduates complete RHSP.

In 2003, to prevent students from “gaming the system,” the RHSP was made an eligibility requirement for automatic admission, to include Top 10%.

In 2005, the 4th year of science was added into the RHSP in a 9-6 vote at the SBOE in a deal brokered by SBOE member Pat Hardy, with support from TBEC.

In 2006, the 4th year of math was added into the RHSP based upon the Texas Legislature passing legislation led by Sen. Shapiro during special session.  Austin Chamber assembles state coalition, led by Austin Regional Clinic CEO Norman Chenven and supported by TAB, TFT, LULAC, to work the SBOE on implementation.

By 2007, 13 regional universities make the RHSP an entrance requirement.

In 2007, to ensure students were better prepared for university, the RHSP became a university entrance requirement.  By 2009, 99% of university admittants had completed the RHSP.  Rep. Geanie Morrison passed this bill with support from Austin Chamber.

In 2011, the first graduating class under the 4×4, a record 81% of graduates had completed the RHSP.  College/career readiness was at state record highs.  Direct college enrollment and high school graduation rates were at state record highs.

In 2013, Texas Legislature eliminates RHSP, severs tie between RHSP & Top 10%, TEXAS Grant & university admission eligibility requirements. Graduation becomes eligibility for TEXAS Grant & university admission. Chemistry, physics, algebra II, and English IV are no longer state requirement. Major loopholes created to allow many to avoid two years of foreign language.

Also in 2013, Texas Legislature eliminates any measure of proficiency in chemistry, physics, geometry, world history, or world geography for the first time since before the 11th grade TAKS.

Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.

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