Priorities for the secondary English curriculum: A comparison of human resource specialists and English educators



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Texas Tech University


Texas educators, the State Board of Education, the legislature, and taxpayers have been striving to improve the achievement levels of Texas public school students since the passage of House Bill 72 in 1984. According to the Texas Research League (1990), Texas employers still remain dissatisfied with the general quality of employees available among Texas high school graduates. According to the State Board of Education (1992), large numbers of students drop out of high school, or complete high school unprepared for either college or employment.

Former Secretaries of Labor, Elizabeth Dole (1990) and Ann McLaughlin (1987) believed that employers and educators disagreed about how well current high school students were being prepared for employment. Educators believed that students were being well prepared for employment, but potential employers remained dissatisfied. Dole and Mclaughlin observed that employers and educators were not communicating with one another well enough for educational improvements to occur. This study was designed to see if Texas employers and English educators had the same communication problem.

In order to determine whether Texas employers and English educators agreed on what kind of preparation students needed, this study compared responses of three population samples to a questionnaire designed to measure priorities for the secondary English curriculum. The three populations were Texas human resource specialists, English curriculum specialists, and high school English department chairs.



High school graduates, English language, Employee selection