The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

Ancient history: 3 years since geography removed from curriculum

in ARS News/Showcase by

Starting in the fall of 2014, Ann Richards – along with other Austin area high schools – cut geography from the ninth grade curriculum. This elimination was part of a piece of legislation that was introduced in January of that year that redefined the Austin Independent School District curriculum. As the class of 2018, who was the first class to forgo a social studies credit, nears the college application process, many are taking a close look at the requirements for colleges regarding history credits.

“I think social studies is a class that really teaches you how to think about everything that is happening in the world,” Maddy Schell said (11).

House Bill 5 was written in January of 2014, and intended to be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year. The bill outlined the “New Foundation High School Program,” and listed the required classes and credits for graduation in Texas. One of the most important features of the new graduation plan was the reduction in required history credits. Instead of needing 4 history credits to graduate, the state’s new mandate only required 3, (one semester of government, one semester of economics, and one year of U.S. History, one year of either world history or geography).

According to the College Board, colleges look for a minimum of 2.5 credits on average. Certain colleges have stricter rules about how many credits of social studies a student must have, whereas others have a recommendation for students. Overall, schools appear to look for a minimum of 3 history credits.

A look at how many social studies credits sample colleges recommend and require. Inforgraphic by Emily Weaver

If Indie alternative rock is playing in the background and you see a curly headed girl with a highbrew in her hand you are likely to have run into Polaris Press Print Editor in Chief Emily Weaver. Emily has been involved with The Polaris Press since her freshman year of highschool at the Ann Richards School, and at that time it wasn’t a class but just a club she went to weekly. Emily is always completing tasks, you’ll find her surprisingly calm with tons of finished assignments around her just waiting to tackle on the next one. Alongside finishing these tasks Emily also problem solves constantly. She’s constantly learning from those around her to fix the issues she sees around her, which she brings into newspaper. You can expect more problem solving from Emily in her next few years of college after her final year of high school.

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