Statement by Bill Hammond on Senate passage of HB 5
May 07, 2013 | 1147 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Statement by Bill Hammond on Senate passage of HB 5

AUSTIN, TX— The following statement is from Texas Association of Business President and CEO Bill Hammond:

“I am extremely disappointed that changes were not made in HB 5 to help our students be ready for life after high school.  Because of the fact that schools, teachers and administrators won’t be held to a higher accountability system, and students won’t be required to take a more challenging course of study, we are dooming generations of students to a mediocre education and low wage jobs.”

“We already graduate only 25 percent of students who are career or college ready.  I don’t understand why many of our lawmakers are dead set on running away from strong requirements meant to increase that number and put in place standards that will do just the opposite.”

“This bill further weakens our accountability system by not using an A-F grading system for individual schools, only school districts.  Our students don’t attend school districts, they attend schools.  This will allow schools to hide poor performance from parents, who need to know if their child’s school is doing a good job or not.  What this legislation does is let superintendents escape the challenge of preparing as many students as possible for a career or college, and lets some students be forgotten in a minimal graduation plan that will do neither.”

“We appreciate the amendment by Senator Tommy Williams, which will allow districts to administer English III and algebra II end-of-course exams.  Students who pass these tests would be exempted from remedial courses at the college level.  While it cannot be used for campus or teacher evaluation, at least parents and districts will know if this subject matter is being learned.  We also appreciate the amendment by Senator Kel Seliger, requiring algebra II and one more science course to qualify for the top ten percent rule and Texas grants, however he should have gone one step further and require those courses for admission to a four-year university.”

“The question for us is: Will this bill improve Texas’ ability to compete in the global marketplace?  Unfortunately our conclusion is that it will not.”

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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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