Topic: SBOE

Defective Mexican-American Studies Text Denounced at State Board Hearing

Upwards of a hundred witnesses citing chapter and verse came to the State Board of Education September 13 to urge rejection of a proposed Mexican-American studies text rife with outright errors and redolent of bias. Among the witnesses were state legislators, Mexican-American history specialists, parents, and veteran K-12 educators including Texas AFT secretary-treasurer Ray McMurrey. “Students and teachers alike should...

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Community-Educator Coalition Combats Ethnic-Studies Textbook Distortions

Texas AFT and allies in the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition will be rallying and testifying before the State Board of Education on September 13 against approval of a grossly flawed textbook proposed for use in Texas classrooms. At issue is a Mexican-American studies text, published by a former member of the State Board of Education, rife with factual errors,...

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Out-of-State Charter Chain’s Bid for Metroplex Campus Rejected

The Athlos charter chain, based in Idaho, has once again seen its bid for a Metroplex charter site vetoed by the State Board of Education, despite initial approval by the commissioner of education. SBOE members voted 7 to 6 against the Athlos proposal after members in the majority voiced ongoing concerns about the Athlos model relating to lack of sufficient...

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SBOE Deals with Charter Expansion, Testing

The 15-member elected State Board of Education meets in Austin this week to consider a lengthy agenda that includes charter expansion and an ongoing review of the validity and reliability of standardized state tests used to measure student and school performance. Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has given preliminary approval to three charter applications, including one recycled version of a...

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State Board Surveys Texans on Fixes for State Testing and School Ratings

Many educators, parents, and concerned citizens have spoken out against the misuse and overuse of standardized tests and test-based school ratings at a series of nine Community Conversations across the state prompted by State Board of Education chair Donna Bahorich of Houston. Now a lot more of us have a chance to weigh in via an online survey posted by...

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Summer Action at the State Capitol Affecting Education

Notable legislative hearings and agency board meetings for the summer include: June 21:  One clear theme of today’s House Higher Education Committee was the legislature’s continuing quest for cost-conscious ways to increase college attendance and completion, especially in educational settings such as community colleges and programs leading to technical certification. One variation on that theme concerned the notion of competency-based...

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From the Laboratories of Bad Government

Officials in Austin and Washington have given us some fresh examples in recent days of misguided and misplaced policy priorities. Item:  Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath on Tuesday approved an application for a state charter-school license despite the fact that the same applicant—Athlos Academy—had been rejected by the State Board of Education last year because of assorted shortcomings relating...

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Notable Runoff Election Outcomes

The May 24 primary runoffs brought some surprises and taught (or retaught) some lessons. The most notable and welcome surprise was the defeat of an East Texas candidate for the State Board of Education who had gained national notoriety for circulating unfounded allegations against President Obama and for promoting educational policies long on ideology and short on facts. Mary Lou...

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New Education Commissioner Addresses State Board of Education

New Commissioner of Education Mike Morath made his first round of public “commissioner’s comments” at the State Board of Education meeting under way this week in Austin. Much of this first dialogue with SBOE members amounted to an exchange of pleasantries, but there were some nuggets of useful information. Morath said his initial top priorities would be: --supporting Texas educators;...

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