Topic: Curriculum

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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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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