SBOE approves ‘streamlined’ curriculum standards

Today, the SBOE unanimously approved “streamlined” Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). These are the standards teachers must use for lesson planning and test preparation, and could eventually result in instructional materials changes.

This streamlining effort was initiated to address the common compliant that there are too many TEKS standards and not enough time for teachers to provide the necessary instruction to cover all the standards.

After the board approved changes at its September meeting that would have removed Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller, and several other historical figures, there was considerable public backlash and dozens of witnesses attended the Tuesday and Wednesday’s board meetings.

The board spent considerable time listening to public witnesses, including parents, students, and many historians, which led to the board keeping Clinton, Keller, Eleanor Rosevelt, and others. Although many witnesses requested the removal of “states’ rights” as a cause for the civil war, the board on Friday ultimately decided to require students to “explain the central role of the expansion of slavery in causing sectionalism, disagreement over states’ rights, and the Civil War.”

For sixth grade through high school, the new standards will go into effect on August 1, 2019, while the standards for kindergarten through fifth grade will go into effect on August 1, 2020.