Topic: Curriculum

Draft Graduation Rules Undergo Pruning at State Board of Education

The State Board of Education voted 14 to 1 today against a plan to require Algebra II on all five of the specialized pathways to graduation created by the legislature in HB 5 last spring. These pathways, called endorsements, are meant to match career interests and betoken higher-level accomplishment beyond the foundation program, under which Algebra II already was not...

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CSCOPE Lesson Reviews Not Published Yet by Ad-Hoc SBOE Committee

The next phase in the controversy over the CSCOPE “curriculum-management system” (recently renamed the TEKS Resource System) and its attendant examples of suitable lesson plans will have to wait a few more weeks. That’s when the ad-hoc committee of the State Board of Education that has been assigned to examine hundreds of CSCOPE lessons will publish reviews provided by 160...

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SBOE This Week Tackles CSCOPE, Charter Applications, Science Texts, and Graduation Standards

From Tuesday through Friday of this week the State Board of Education will grapple with some hot topics: --the “curriculum management” system formerly called CSCOPE and the content of sample lesson plans that accompany it; --four applications to run charter schools that have been approved by the commissioner of education but still could be vetoed by SBOE; --instructional materials for...

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First Draft of New State Graduation Requirements Released

The new rough draft of state graduation requirements pursuant to HB 5 was published today by the Texas Education Agency. The headline item is that Algebra II will not be required for graduation under the foundation plan. Though this feature accords with legislative intent, apparently it was not a foregone conclusion that TEA staff would follow through on that intent...

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Next Steps on Charter Schools, Science Texts

The week's action at the State Board of Education closed with a preview of next steps toward approval of applicants for new charters and adoption of new science textbooks. SBOE members were invited to advise Texas Education Agency staff of their "disposition" toward charter applicants by September 25. The staffers in turn will relay those views to the commissioner of...

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Texas AFT Sounds Cautionary Note on New Graduation Options: lllusion or Reality?

At the September 17 State Board of Education hearing on how to implement new graduation options under HB 5, Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi sounded a cautionary note regarding the capacity of school districts to make those new options a reality. First, she noted, “the legislature provided schools with no new funding to add new academic programs or to...

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Biology Texts Once Again in Dispute at State Board of Education

Science textbooks are up for adoption by the State Board of Education, and the Board spent a good part of September 17 taking public testimony on biology texts, which once again are the target of attacks from devotees of religion-based “creation science.” Their testimony was strongly contested by advocates of genuinely science-based instruction in biology, including evolution. The "creation science"...

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State Board Hears Testimony on Graduation Requirements, Science Texts

The State Board of Education will hear testimony tomorrow on impending changes in state graduation requirements and on the adoption of new science textbooks. Texas AFT will be there to stand up for equity in access to the high-quality courses needed to prepare graduates for college and career, and we also will stand with allies for sound science textbooks, untainted...

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Hearing Airs Issues, Real and Contrived, with CSCOPE

A committee of the State Board of Education met in Austin today to hear testimony on the CSCOPE curriculum-management system that has been the subject of so much controversy and criticism this year. Judging by today’s testimony, the controversy has been overblown. Only a handful of critics showed up to speak. Most testimony (especially from educators) stressed the usefulness of...

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Texas Science Textbooks Targeted by Creationists

Courts across the land repeatedly have rejected attempts to inject religious theories of divine creation into science texts, but that doesn’t stop folks from trying anew, especially at our State Board of Education. So sure enough, in the latest round of evaluations of proposed textbooks by the State Board, individuals appointed as reviewers by individual Board members have criticized some...

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Tell the State Board of Ed: Stand Up For Science!

Texas AFT urges you to sign a timely petition drawn up by our friends at the Texas Freedom Network in support of sound science instruction. Here’s TFN’s take on why this show of support is needed now to nudge the State Board of Education in the right direction: “The state board has already begun working on its once-a-decade adoption of...

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