Following the passage of House Bill 5 out of the Senate Committee on Education, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the chairman of the committee, chided the businesses and media outlets who have alleged that lowering the number of state-mandated end-of-course exams would dumb-down public school curriculum.
Patrick said nothing could be further from the truth.
"Did anyone suggest that we reduce rigor? Did anyone suggest we reduce accountability? In fact, we added a year of science to what is now the minimum plan, we’ve added foreign language. You’ve agreed the industry wants to add a forth year of science and math to career if it is applied. So far only eight companies are opposing this bill," Patrick said.
Those companies wanting to defeat the bill are large corporations like IBM and Exxon Mobile, who are hoping Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will veto the bill.
"If they are the end all and be all in Texas maybe we should just go home and let the New York Times run the House and the Washington Post run the Senate," Patrick said.
Patrick said if the bill gets voted down, students will be left with a 15-exam system and a degree program that currently ignores the different needs of high school students.
House Bill 5 has passed in the House and now moves to the Senate floor for a vote.
The bill ultimately would lower the number of exams from 15 to five and creates two educational pathways for students: College-ready or vocational bound.