Topic: SBOE

SBOE Meeting With New Charter-School Applicants: Questions Worth Asking

On Tuesday, August 30, a committee of the State Board of Education will hold interviews with eight applicants for state charters to open new charter-school operations. Questions have been raised by education activists and freedom-of-information experts regarding the legal sufficiency of the published notice of the subject matter of this meeting. The notice published by the Texas Education Agency does...

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Be Forewarned: Schools May Have Done Better in 2011, Yet Ratings May Drop

State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff, Republican of Mount Pleasant, has come out with a timely warning of what to expect from state accountability ratings for 2011 due out later this month. Ratliff is a moderate politically, but he is quite fired up about the misleading nature of the Texas accountability system, for reasons that he shares in the...

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Flawed Social-Studies Standards Earn a “D” in National Study

A conservative-leaning think tank has come out with a scathing report on the quality of the new social-studies standards adopted amidst much controversy last year by the State Board of Education. (Texas AFT strongly opposed these social-studies standards.) The Thomas B. Fordham Institute this week denounced the new Texas curriculum guidelines as a “politicized distortion of history offering misrepresentations at...

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Changes May Be On the Way at the State Board of Education

The State Board of Education meets next week in Austin with a number of new members likely to give deliberations a somewhat more moderate cast. One of them, Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, knocked out one of the leaders of the extreme-right faction on the Board in a hard-fought Republican primary last year. Another, Democrat Michael Soto of San Antonio,...

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Revised Educators’ Code of Ethics Gets a Pass at State Board of Education—Over Objections of Educators

Over the objections of Texas educators, the State Board of Education today allowed a problematic revision of the educators’ code of ethics to take effect. Texas AFT and other statewide educator organizations took a stand against the revision emanating from the separate State Board for Educator Certification, because of changes that in key respects left educators without fair notice of...

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Texas AFT Testifies on Proposed Changes in Educators’ Code of Ethics

At a committee hearing of the State Board of Education today in Austin, Texas AFT laid out the reasons why the State Board should reject a proposed revision of the professional educators’ code of ethics. Our testimony elicited a curious, three-part reaction. On the one hand, some Board members acknowledged that there are indeed problems with the ethics-code revision, which...

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