In a disappointing turn of events, the State Board of Education voted this week to delay the revision of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for social studies until 2025.
Conservative coalitions were present in full force at this week’s State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting. Board members heard a steady parade of testimony–both from those seeking to delay the social studies revision into next calendar year or beyond and those urging the board to continue its work in an effort to reach adoption by the end of 2022.
Conservative testifiers wanted more religion and American Exceptionalism added back into the standards and leaned on this rationale to delay the entire process, possibly so new more conservative and more extremist members can conclude the revision process. Texas AFT provided testimony encouraging the board to move forward to the first reading so that board members and the public could have a robust debate, making amendments that would be more inclusive of our diverse student population and teach the truth of our shared history. Unfortunately, the SBOE ultimately chose to ignore recommendations made by more than 100 content experts and teachers after thousands of volunteer hours.
President Zeph Capo spoke at a press conference Wednesday along with many of our public education allies, vowing to continue the work needed to ensure Texas students have access to accurate and inclusive curriculum.
The Committee on School Initiatives approved State Board of Educator Certification rules recommending the expansion of the courses that would be allowed to meet the requirements for the Education Aide I industry-based certification for high school students. Education aides are a critical part of our classroom and district support system and a viable path into the teaching profession. Texas AFT supports these changes and will be working to expand education and employment opportunities for our Education Aides in the next legislative session.