Closing the Gap or Accelerating the Problems: A Discourse Analysis of H.B. 4545


  • Abbie Strunc Sam Houston State University
  • Kimberly M. Murray Texas A&M University-Texarkana
  • Amber J. Godwin Sam Houston State University


critical discourse analysis, educational policy, COVID-19, learning loss


The Texas Legislature’s 87th regular legislative session focused significant attention to K-12 and higher education. House Bill 4545 is the plan to accelerate learning to account for real (and perceived) loss of learning during the 2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 2021 school years. We examine HB 4545 using discourse analysis, specifically James Gee’s seven building tasks (2011). The analysis of HB 4545 with the use of Gee’s building tasks allows us to uncover the “dominant discourse” in the bill (Gee, 2005). The purpose is to uncover the dominant perspective as to how the pandemic learning gaps can be ‘corrected’ in one school year through parental selection of teachers, accelerated learning, accelerated learning committees, and school board policy requirements. The results present our findings of the dominant identities in educational policy created through HB 4545 (Strauss, 2012).