The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) will take up two computer science-related issues at their April meeting. The first issue is related to the provision of letting students take two computer programming courses to substitute for the Language Other Than English (LOTE) graduation credits. Currently, there is a provision in the SBOE rules that would eliminate this option for students in September 2016. The board will vote in April on whether or not to remove the expiration date for this provision. If they do, it will mean that students will continue to be able to take Computer Science I, II, or III to satisfy the LOTE graduation credits.
The second issue involves the approval of AP Computer Science Principles as a Technology Applications course. This is a new AP course that will be tested for the first time in the 2016-2017 school year. The board will need to approve this course so that the Texas Education Agency can create a PEIMS code. TEA has indicated that if the board approves this course in April, the earliest they can post the course PEIMS number will be July 1, 2016.
Neither of these issues have any known opposition on the SBOE, so the approval of both is highly likely. Below are the contents of an email that was sent on March 15 by the Enrichment division of TEA regarding these issues.
Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 126, Technology Applications, Subchapter D, Other Technology Applications Courses
Public Comment Period: March 2, 2015 – April 6, 2016
Earliest Possible Date of Adoption: April 2016 State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting
In January 2015, the State Board of Education approved for first reading and filing authorization Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 126, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications, Subchapter D, Other Technology Applications Courses, §126.65, Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles (One Credit), Adopted 2016. The proposed rule action would add a new AP computer science course as an option for a student to use to earn credit toward high school graduation requirements.
The SBOE is scheduled to consider the proposed amendments for second reading and final adoption at its April 2016 meeting.