Texas Counselors Concerned About Texas College Preparation Policies
- Counselors say the new endorsement system intended to provide college or career pathways for students in reality are limiting students’ opportunities.
- Texas counselors do not have enough time to actually counsel with students, reporting that they instead spend 75% of their workday on testing and administrative duties. The American School Counselor Association recommends one counselor for every 250 students. The average in Texas is one counselor for every 390 students.
See related article: School Counselors Express Concerns about College and Career Advising in Texas, May 29, 2019
Rural Districts Lose 24 Percent in Algebra II Enrollment
IDRA Ready Texas Study Examines Texas HB5 Graduation Requirements
Published in May 2018, IDRA’s Ready Texas: A Study of the Implementation of HB5 in Texas and funded by the Greater Texas Foundation provides education stakeholders critical and timely information about the implications of recent curriculum changes in the state on the college and career readiness of graduates. IDRA conducted a mixed methods study examining two research questions: Statewide, what districts characteristics are associated with indicators of postsecondary success? and How are educators, families, and students navigating the implementation of the new high school graduation requirements? The first question examines broad patterns across the state, while the second question provides a nuanced, qualitative look at the practices and experiences of the policy changes in a sample of six districts.
Phase I, Ready Texas: Stakeholder Convening, funded by the Greater Texas Foundation and led by IDRA and hosted with UT Austin, guided this study. A stakeholder survey, research scan and roundtable discussions, showed that, across sectors, leaders have concerns about HB5’s implications for post-secondary readiness, course-taking access, rigor and equitable pathways for underserved students (see Ready Texas: Stakeholder Convening Proceedings Report, 2016). Also, previous research shows a positive trend in post-secondary preparation prior to HB5.
This project also was guided by IDRA’s empirically-based Quality Schools Action Framework™ that recognizes the role that diverse stakeholders play in securing student high school graduation with the preparation to enroll and succeed in college, working around key “levers of change” (including actionable knowledge, accountable leadership, enlightened policymaking).
The findings from this study inform a wide array of education stakeholders on best practices; serve families and students through the expanded information on navigating course options and pathways; facilitate cross-sector collaboration that focuses on post-secondary quality and access (particularly among families, schools, and community); and contribute to the field by identifying directions for further study, and monitoring and assessment needs. In particular, this study seeks to inform the upcoming Texas legislative session through data analyses and recommendations, briefings, reports, and online tools.
See Infographic from IDRA’s initial Ready Texas study – IDRA study points to the troubling effects of the state’s new graduation requirements
See article outlining preliminary findings of IDRA’s Phase II Ready Texas study: School Counselors Express Concerns about College and Career Advising in Texas, by Hector Bojorquez
Classnotes Podcast Episodes
Ready Texas Study of New Graduation Requirements – Classnotes Podcast 178, In 2013, Texas lowered graduation requirements for math, science and social studies. Lead researcher, Hector Bojorquez, gives a preview of IDRA’s study on the impact and shares implications for potential similar changes in other states.
Why Algebra II? – Classnotes Podcast 133, Math educator, Paula Johnson, M.A., talks about why Algebra II is critical for all students and, particularly, for low-income and minority students who will undoubtedly suffer the consequences of being sidelined into watered-down, non-college prep courses.