House Representative

Wu, Gene

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/25/2013

Wu proposals would promote competition, modernize higher education

Austin, Texas – State Rep. Gene Wu, Houston, has filed three pieces of legislation that would make Texas colleges and universities more efficient and transparent. These bills seek to increase the number of students graduating on time, give high schools better information about their graduates' college readiness, and give universities around Texas a chance to host University Interscholastic League (UIL) events.

"We often overlook simple changes that could help bring higher education into the 21st Century," Wu said. "I have authored three higher education bills to help modernize and increase the performance of our colleges and universities."

House Bill 1409 would allow colleges to create their own assessments for qualified students to test out of any freshman or sophomore level course. Currently, students who attended private or home schools do not have access to Advanced Placement courses, and the other major test that offers college credit, College-Level Examination Program, is not widely available. The locally developed tests would allow students to earn credits faster while reducing class sizes.

House Bill 1410 would require colleges and universities to report how many of their entering students require remedial education and where those students went to high school. This data is normally recorded by colleges and collected by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, but individual high schools and districts cannot see their own data. This bill simply requires that the state regularly release the information to school districts.

House Bill 1411 would require the UIL to allow qualified Texas universities to bid for the chance to host academic competitions. Currently, only one university in Texas hosts UIL academic events. Opening the competition for those events would allow students to see numerous campuses and help all universities market themselves to high-performing students.

"Education should be a cooperative endeavor; we should work to stop turf wars and in-fighting among academic institutions," Wu said. "We all have the same goal: to see Texas students become well-educated and productive Texas job creators."



CONTACT: Amy Bruno, 512-463-0492