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What path will your children take?

Casey Thomas | 4/28/2014, 9:08 a.m.
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

As a result of Texas House Bill 5, which was passed during the last state legislative session, students who will graduate in the class of 2018 will be the first in the state of Texas to walk across the stage with a diploma in an endorsement of their choice. An endorsement is a career path which the student will go into in the future. During the second semester of their eighth grade year, students were asked by their counselor and by the counselors of the high school they would be attending to choose which endorsement they would like to work in. The required courses and the electives they would take would be determined by their endorsement.

Many parents are not aware that this change has taken place. I would not leave it up to my 13- or 14-year-old to decide by themselves which career they would like to go into and what would be the classes that would benefit them the most in that career choice. It is important that parents are informed so they can better inform their children. We cannot afford to fall behind on this and find out during our child’s senior year that they are not on course to graduate with a diploma that will get them into a four-year college or university if they choose to attend.

For years now, many parents, teachers and community leaders have complained about the fact that not all students are going to college. That we need to provide training for students who are not “college material” or do not have an interest to go to college. Since the 1980’s, there has been a shift away from trade school training in high school and a greater focus on college. This is contributed to the number of students who are graduating but do not have any skills that will get them a job in the field of their choice.

The time has come for us to have a community conversation about these changes and others that relate to the education of our children. We need to know what is on the horizon and how we can better prepare our children for their future. We all know that when it comes to Black children, we are on the bottom of every category. The changes that have been made and will be made in the future will impact how our children are taught and what they will be taught.

I invite you to come out to the next Community Conversation, which will be on education on Monday. Only we can save our children. We must stop waiting on others to do what only we can do for ourselves. It is essential that we become informed so we can better inform others. We don’t have any time to lose and we have to have a sense of urgency about it. Our kids’ very lives depend on it.