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New Texas graduation rules spark debate


High school students in Texas might be able to load up on athletics, band, and physical education classes to meet graduation requirements under a new state law that gives students more freedom to pick electives, reports the Dallas Morning News — and critics of the new plan say the Legislature made a mistake in eliminating health and computer technology as requirements. In passing the legislation in May, lawmakers increased the number of electives that most students can take in high school, but they put fewer restrictions on what classes can be taken to comply with the new course requirements. As a result, according to Texas Education Agency officials, students could take more than a fourth of their classes in PE or PE substitutes–such as football, band and cheerleading–to meet the requirements. The Legislature approved the new graduation requirements as part of a massive school accountability bill. The new rules were intended to give students more course options in preparing for college or post-secondary training programs–but critics say that goal is undermined if students can substitute PE credits for courses in areas such as computer science…

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