Topic: Curriculum

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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“Mile Wide, Inch Deep”: Texas Curriculum Guidelines Questioned by Key State Senator

The chair of the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee has a bone to pick with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the curriculum standards that are supposed to tell teachers what students must learn in each grade and subject. That much was clear from the insistent line of questioning Sen. Kel Seliger, Republican of Amarillo, pursued with witnesses at a hearing...

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Share My Lesson Marathon Scores Big Success

Share My Lesson, the American Federation of Teachers, and Texas AFT hosted 45 active and retired teachers in Austin the weekend before last for an around-the-clock session of updating and creating more than 200 lesson plans and teaching resources, covering all subjects and grades. These resources are now available for free download on click here. 

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The History Wars: Update on SBOE Action

A considerably diluted resolution complaining about new College Board guidelines for Advanced Placement U.S. history courses passed by a vote of 8 to 4 at the State Board of Education on September 19. The majority sought to reproach the College Board for insufficient positive emphasis on American ideals of liberty and free enterprise and too much emphasis on conflicts and...

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AFT Leader’s Corpus Christi Visit Trains Spotlight on Project-Based Learning

As part of a back-to-school tour across the nation, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on September 11 visited a Corpus Christi ISD classroom that is on the cutting edge of instructional innovation. In that classroom at the Metro School of Design within Miller High School, science teacher Jenna Ruiz-Ortiz coaches teams of middle-school students as they eagerly tackle...

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Share My Lesson—Take the Survey; Vote; Apply to Help Expand Library of Award-Winning Lessons (and Earn Some Extra Pay)

With a student population that is ever more challenging, teachers need every bit of help they can get to engage effectively and deliver a sound education in their classrooms. While much will depend on the outcome of big policy and legal battles for the funding our schools require, teachers can help each other with tools like the Share My Lesson online exchange...

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TEA’s Project Share in Trouble; Check Out AFT’s Share My Lesson, Going Strong

The Texas Education Agency has announced that its online “Project Share,” an attempt to provide an online professional learning community for Texas educators and students, is in trouble. Here’s the announcement TEA made on May 7: “The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently confirmed news that ConnectEDU has filed for bankruptcy protection. ConnectEDU is the parent company of Epsilen. Epsilen provides...

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News from the State Board of Education: Ethnic Studies Advanced; Charter-School Junkets Considered

On the plus side, members of the State Board of Education meeting in Austin this week took a step forward toward a curriculum that better reflects the demographic diversity of Texas.  On the minus side, they are going to continue to consider making a serious misstep—taking money from charter-school promoters to pay for travel to visit out-of-state charter operators who...

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