Education News

Students Press Texas Lawmakers For Say In School Curriculum

Their proposal boils down to two simple words: “students and.”

Uyiosa Elegon as well as other HISD graduates and current students have put together a proposal that would include their input when schools launch new curriculum initiatives.
Uyiosa Elegon as well as other HISD graduates and current students have put together a proposal that would include their input when schools launch new curriculum initiatives.

When Uyiosa Elegon attended high school in Houston, the district launched a program to give every high school student a laptop.

He doesn’t remember anyone asking his thoughts on that.

If HISD administrators had, Elegon would have suggested more computer science classes to make the laptops more useful and boost his future job skills.

Now a freshman at the University of Houston, Elegon and other Houston students are pushing state lawmakers for a bigger say in what they learn. The group includes HISD alum Zaakir Tameez and members of the current HISD Student Congress.

Currently, Texas law requires schools to get input from teachers and district employees when districts launch a major curriculum change.

Elegon said that their proposal boils down to two simple words: “students and.”

With those two words added to the law, Texas school districts would have to include student feedback when they make those academic changes.

“Any input from someone that’s sitting in the classroom for eight hours a day is going to be good input,” Elegon said. “There’s no way there isn’t something tangible that the district can pull from the student.”

Some state lawmakers agree that it’s a good idea. Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, and Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, have both filed bills to make  the students’ suggestion a statewide reality.

Elegon said that it could not only improve learning materials for kids, it could also engage students in other ways.

“If I had a say in what’s going on, I would probably hold myself to a higher standard than I did before. That would be me taking my own learning into my own hands,” Elegon said.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss the measure this week.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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