Topic: Curriculum

Mexican-American Studies Course Gets Strong Backing at State Board of Education Hearing

Texas AFT joined dozens of state legislators and a broad array of education and community groups today in support of adding an optional elective course in Mexican-American studies to the state curriculum for students in high school. Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi’s testimony submitted to the State Board cited with approval a recent op-ed article by state Sens. Sylvia...

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Overdue: A Mexican-American Studies Elective for Texas High Schools

On April 8 we expect the State Board of Education to begin considering additions to the menu of course offerings that form the state curriculum for high schools. We are pleased to join SBOE member Ruben Cortez, Democrat of Brownsville, and others in suggesting the addition of an elective course in Mexican-American studies. You can add your voice to the...

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Share My Lesson Online Community to Host Virtual Conference in March

On March 11-13, Share My Lesson, the largest online community of American educators sharing lesson plans and other teaching materials, will host an unprecedented virtual conference of 24 webinars for educators and parents. The webinars will address a range of topics, including creative ways to teach the arts and natural sciences, proactive and positive behavior-management tips, and ways to cultivate...

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“Share My Lesson” Teaching Resources Tied to Winter Olympics

Educators have a chance to capitalize on students' interest in the Winter Olympics unfolding now through February 23 in Sochi, Russia. As the world celebrates sport and international competition, you have an exciting opportunity to engage students in Olympics-related lessons in physics, writing, math, social studies, civics, reading, and more. Check out the Olympic Winter Games collection of teaching resources...

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State Board of Education Sets New Guidelines for Textbook Reviewers

The State Board of Education last week adopted some new rules that offer hope for a more temperate, scholarly approach to the evaluation of proposed textbooks to be used in our public schools. Volunteer textbook reviewers without appropriate subject-matter expertise but with an ideological agenda have wielded inordinate influence over Texas textbook reviews in the past, most recently in the...

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Teaching Resources for Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Visit the AFT Web site on Black History Month at http://www.aft.org/yourwork/tools4teachers/bhm/ for multi-media tools you can use in the classroom to educate students about the history of African-Americans in the United States. This Web site highlights key historical events, influential figures, and the continuing contributions of African-Americans to our nation and the world. It features...

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State Board Still Deliberating on Graduation Standards

Members of the State Board of Education are expected to decide on the final shape of proposed graduation standards by the time they adjourn on Friday, January 31, but debate continues in the meantime. The key issue of the role of Algebra II remains unresolved. On the one hand, SBOE members, guided by legislative intent, do not want to make...

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Texas AFT Testimony on Graduation Rules Cites Survey Results

In testimony submitted today to the State Board of Education, Texas AFT buttressed key points with results from last week’s online survey on the role of Algebra II in new draft rules for high-school graduation. Thanks are due to all who took part in this quick survey. Upcoming Hotlines will report further on the dialogue between the State Board and...

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State Board of Education Meets January 28-31, Considers Graduation Requirements

The State Board of Education meets in Austin January 28-31 to consider, among other things, final adoption of proposed Board rules implementing changes in state law on graduation requirements. Among the hottest issues:  whether Algebra II should be required for all of the five “endorsements” students can earn in different subject areas to show advanced achievement. Texas AFT will submit...

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New Graduation Rules–What Should SBOE Decide? Have Your Say

Here is your chance to submit your own comments to the State Board of Education on revised graduation requirements to be voted on at the SBOE meeting next week. By responding to our quick online survey, you also can help to shape Texas AFT’s comments. First, here’s some background: The proposed rules currently are open for public comment through January...

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The State’s Social-Studies Textbook Review Needs Experts Like You

Our friends at the Texas Freedom Network remind us that the Texas Education Agency has begun the process of selecting individuals to review proposed new social-studies textbooks. After the review process is completed, the State Board of Education is expected to vote in November 2014 on adoption of new texts for social studies from kindergarten through high school. The deadline...

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Science Textbooks Win Approval of State Board, With an Asterisk

A new generation of science textbooks made it through the State Board of Education approval process almost—but not quite—unscathed last week. Fourteen textbooks were okayed Friday, but a 15th was given only conditional approval and must now be further reviewed by an expert panel appointed by three SBOE members. The biology textbook in question had been faulted by a creationist...

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