Topic: Curriculum

State Board of Education Seeks GED Alternatives as Participation Declines

The State Board of Education voted unanimously last week to explore alternatives to the new version of the GED (General Educational Development) implemented in Texas by the for-profit Pearson conglomerate. Issues raised by educators and test-takers alike in SBOE testimony included high cost, exam questions demanding more than basic proficiency, and computer-only access to the test. Problems with the new...

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State Board of Education Meets Next Week

Next week the State Board of Education meets for the first time under the chairmanship of Donna Bahorich, recently appointed as chair by Gov. Greg Abbott. Though SBOE members are elected from 15 districts around the state, the governor gets to name which elected SBOE member will serve as chair. The Bahorich appointment drew considerable criticism last month because the...

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Besides a Disappointing Budget, Session Produced a Mixed Bag on Education Policy

Previous Hotline messages have covered the disappointing two-year budget plan adopted by the legislature, which doesn’t increase aid to school districts enough to maintain their per-pupil funding in terms of real, inflation-adjusted purchasing power. The next step for the budget before it goes to the governor is required certification by the comptroller that the state has the money to pay...

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Action on Key Bills in State Legislature as Deadlines Arrive: Guns, TEKS, Tests, Sanctions

Guns on campus: Close to the midnight deadline for passage of Senate bills in the Texas House on second reading, House members voted Tuesday to let concealed-handgun license holders bear their weapons on college campuses. House amendments made the bill applicable to private as well as public institutions of higher education but inapplicable to certain health-related facilities. Texas AFT has...

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Fewer Topics, More Depth Proposed for Texas Curriculum Standards

SB 313 by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) would require the State Board of Education to review and modify the state curriculum standards to allow teachers and students to delve more deeply into fewer topics. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on Tuesday, and a companion House bill, HB 1341 by Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) was heard in committee Tuesday...

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Speaker Puts Priority on Education for 2015 Session, Calls for Stipends for Counselors

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus today announced one of his first initiatives in the area of public education for the 2015 legislative session that starts January 13. Straus, a San Antonio Republican, said he wants to follow up on last session’s bill establishing multiple graduation pathways for Texas students by providing stipends to counselors who “receive training focused on the...

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Lesson Plans Recap News and Events of 2014

Teachers can usher in 2015 with a look back through the lens of Share My Lesson’s most popular lessons tied to news and events from 2014. Here are some attention-getting examples: Racial profiling and stereotyping School dress codes spark controversy Will online classes replace classrooms? Events in Ferguson, Mo. Ebola outbreak in Africa Why a 'female' hurricane is more deadly than a 'male' The DREAM Act Commemorate César Chávez Day And many more!...

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State Board of Education Adopts Textbooks: Some Flaws Fixed, Others Not

The State Board of Education by a split vote approved a batch of social-studies textbooks submitted by publishers after much debate and testimony pro and con. Some significant improvements were made on certain topics; for instance, the salience of conflict over slavery as a cause of the Civil War was clarified, and passages in some texts obscuring the strong scientific...

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State Board of Education and TRS Board Prepare Menus for Legislature This Week

While the State Board of Education continues to tussle the rest of this week over allegations of bias in proposed social-studies textbooks up for Board approval, other matters also are on the agenda. For example, Board members are deciding on their legislative recommendations for the 2015 session that will start January 13. On Wednesday Board members winnowed their wish list...

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State Board of Education Revisits Textbook Bias Complaints—Some Resolved, Some Not

The State Board of Education struggled Tuesday toward resolution of a raft of complaints about bias perceived in proposed textbooks up for Board approval. Many complaints from an earlier round of public testimony have been resolved, but others have emerged. Publishers have corrected some language in draft textbooks that would have downplayed slavery as a cause of the Civil War....

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Early-Childhood Instruction is a Focus of Free “Share My Lesson” Online Resources

Share My Lesson, the fast-growing online community for educators who want to share teaching resources, has unveiled an extended early-childhood education catalog. Since the Web site was launched in 2012, it has grown to 635,000 members who share nearly 300,000 K-12 resources. Share My Lesson now includes resources that address our youngest learners. Teachers, parents, community leaders, and school support...

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