AUSTIN -- The head of the Texas Senate Education Committee has filed a bill overhauling high school graduation requirements to better emphasize "workforce development."
Sen. Dan Patrick's measure would create an eighth grade career exploratory course helping students choose what they want to take in high school.
The Houston Republican wants to allow students to then choose between three academic paths in grades 9 through 12.
They can study a vocational plan featuring electives in business and industry, or one built around science and technology. A third option stresses arts and humanities.
Students would still have to take core courses, and pass standardized tests, in math, science, social studies and language arts.
Endorsing Patrick's measure Thursday were 19 industry trade organizations, who say Texas students must be better-prepared for future high-tech jobs.