Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Uniformity Fails, Intact HB 2330 Prevails

The much debated 'anti-top ten percent' bill, Rep. Geanie Morrison's (R-Victoria) HB 2330, passed the House today with a 75 to 69 vote. But it passed without several amendments which aimed to lessen the bill's blow to the 8-year-old law created for the purpose of assuring greater access to public universities. One of those amendments, by Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston), provided uniformity to the grading system so that a grade at one high school carries the same weight as a grade at another high school (currently grades are weighted by the prestige of the school, among other things).
"[It is like] looking at apples to apples across district lines," said Turner.
With little resistance in expressing his opposition to the bill, Turner told the Observer, "This bill is not about performance or academic acheivement... kids who are coming in the ten percent are out-performing and graduating quicker than those not in the ten percent. "
Though Turner offered a firm stance and persuasive words on his amendment during the debate, it failed adoption with only 66 ayes to the 78 nays, including a nay from Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland).
Turner, who promised to vote against HB 2330 if it lacked his amendment, kept his word and was among the 69 nays for the bill.
"It's a step back," said Turner about HB 2330's passage, "[HB] 2330 is like
a reverse affirmative action program for those who could be based on academic
performance."