Certification Board Heads on Down the Wrong Road

A badly flawed revision of the Texas educators’ code of ethics is on its way to the State Board of Education for review next year, probably in April. The proposed revision tilts excessively in the direction of expanded prosecutorial authority for the staff of the State Board for Educator Certification, and it gives educators too little clarity concerning exactly where ethical lines are drawn. The document drafted by the SBEC staff was approved by a majority of SBEC members today, though not without dissent.

The SBEC majority took this action despite vigorous criticism of the latest draft of the proposed rules by Texas AFT and other teacher organizations. As reported in previous hotlines, the “stakeholder involvement” process at SBEC has left much to be desired. That much was clear from today’s unanimous opposition of teacher groups to the revised document.

While the elected State Board of Education has had problems of its own, in this instance it could make itself useful by subjecting the SBEC rules to searching review. SBOE members have the authority to reject–but not to amend–rules proposed by SBEC, which is made up largely of gubernatorial appointees.