Exploring Students’ Endorsement Enrollment in Texas Public High Schools
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To support youth early motivation for college and careers that meet workforce needs, the Texas Legislature in 2013 passed House Bill 5 to adopt a new high school graduation program, which allows students to pursue “endorsements” as they begin 9th grade. Endorsements introduce high-school students to STEM, Business & Industry, Public Services, Arts & Humanities, and Multidisciplinary areas to help them explore specific career pathways. The study was based on analysis of restricted-use Texas longitudinal administrative and transcript data for students enrolled in the academic year of 2015/16. We examined the mapping of Texas 9th graders on endorsements through an equity and inclusion lens associated with student demographic and academic characteristics. The study was guided by the college and career readiness tenets and social equity theories that identify competing goals in Texas educational policies that may produce (or reproduce) persistent socioeconomic differences in student educational transitions.