As part of the new Long-Range-Plan for Public Education, the State Board of Education is recommending state-funded full-day pre-kindergarten. According to the Texas Education Agency, the plan was created with goals of access and equity, and the recommendations are to be achieved by 2030. Texas children are eligible for pre-K if they are 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 and if they meet one of the following standards: federal free/reduced price lunch guidelines; unable to speak or comprehend English; currently or have been in foster care; homeless as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 1143a; have a parent who is an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces or whose parent was injured or killed while serving on active duty as a member of the U.S. armed forces. view article arw

SBOE Summary of Actions

December 0605:07 AM
 

The files below provide summaries that highlight actions taken by the State Board of Education (SBOE).November 16  (PDF, 87 KB) 

Center for the Collaborative Classroom, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to providing curricula that support the academic, ethical, social, and emotional development of children, announced that the organization’s rigorous Collaborative Literacy Texas Edition is now included in the Texas State Board of Education 2019 Proclamation Adoption list. Collaborative Literacy meets both the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) required for the K–5 literacy curriculum, and Texas schools can now use Proclamation 2019-allocated funds to adopt Collaborative Literacy. view article arw

A simmering school-finance battle came back to life Wednesday in separate hearings that brought up Texas' educational endowment, the largest in the country.  While lawmakers in the Capitol recommended making significant changes to the fund, members of the State Board of Education lamented in their own meeting that the School Land Board has so far stood by a funding decision they announced in August that immediately spurred controversy.   "They need to reconsider now," state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, said Wednesday night. view article arw

The State Board of Education today adopted a new Long-Range Plan for Public Education that establishes goals through the year 2030. The plan establishes an overall goal of access and equity so that all children receive what they need to learn, thrive, and grow. This reflects a desire to have equitable access to funding, advanced courses and modern technology. Developed after assessing the strengths, opportunities, and challenges across Texas, the plan also focuses on student engagement and empowerment; family engagement and empowerment; and educator preparation, recruitment and retention as key areas that are vital to educational progress. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — Responding to concerns that Texas public school students would no longer learn about Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller and defenders of the Alamo, the State Board of Education took a final vote Friday to reject recommendations from board-created working groups to remove the figures from social studies curriculum.  The board on Friday unanimously approved the curriculum, cementing dozens of changes the panel made earlier this week. The new learning requirements will go into effect for middle and high school in the 2019-20 school year and the following year for elementary schools. view article arw

The State Board of Education approved amendments to a proposed Long-Range Plan for Public Education during its Sept. 11-14 meeting. Final adoption of the plan is expected to occur at the board's Nov. 13-16 meeting.  Four years in the making, this plan creates recommendations to be achieved by the year 2030 in four broad categories.  The goals of access and equity serve as the overarching vision of the proposed plan. These goals refer to funding, as well as access to advanced courses and modern technology.  view article arw

Texas education officials tentatively approved keeping the biblical figure Moses in the state’s social studies curriculum Wednesday while voting to change the language that potentially links Islamic fundamentalism with terrorism. view article arw

After more than 10 hours of discussion and public input, the Texas State Board of Education on Tuesday tentatively agreed to keep Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller in the state’s social studies curriculum. The majority-Republican board discussed the proposed curriculum changes and decided to keep Keller, a disability rights advocate who was the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree, and Clinton, the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, the Dallas Morning News reported. view article arw

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

November 1408:45 AM
 

Around two months ago, the Texas State Board of Education voted to remove Hillary Clinton from the state’s 11th-grade U.S. History standards. But on Tuesday night, the board backed a motion to reinsert Clinton into the curriculum. That action was just one of many the board took at its Tuesday meeting,  view article arw

Approaching the podium, Dallas middle school teacher Ron Francis faced the circle of 15 large, wooden desks at the Texas State Board of Education’s September meeting. The board was discussing changes to the social studies curriculum standards, the result of a 10-month-long process to cut back on what teachers have to cover in the classroom. But Francis, a 6-foot-tall Army veteran who teaches in Highland Park ISD, was more concerned about what the board wasn’t cutting. The standards currently list slavery alongside three other causes for Texas’ involvement in the Civil War, which he said downplays its historical role. “Get rid of tariffs, states’ rights and sectionalism,” Francis told the board bluntly. “Thank you.” view article arw

AUSTIN — At the end of the day, Helen Keller prevailed. So did the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots who stepped up to run flight and service missions in World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Board of Education preliminarily voted Tuesday night to restore Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller to the state’s history curriculum and to slightly soften language about the Arab-Israeli conflict – surprising moments of bipartisanship for members who have long waged ideological battles about how students in the nation’s second largest state learn history. The moves came after the board’s 10 Republicans and five Democrats heard hours of often impassioned testimony from students, teachers, activists and university experts on proposed edits meant to streamline academic standards for history. A final vote is scheduled for Friday and more changes can still be made. view article arw

The Texas State Board of Education will vote on Tuesday whether to eliminate major historical figures like Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from the state’s social studies curriculum, The Austin American-Statesman reported. Education professionals were appointed earlier this year by the Republican-majority school board to propose changes in social studies requirements for elementary, middle, and high school students, the report said. view article arw

Pastor David Sincere Jr. was recently honored by the Texas State Board of Education with the 2018 Heroes for Children Award in recognition for his service to the Fort Bend Independent School District. “Pastor Sincere is a valued community partner who is helping to make a positive difference in the lives of so many FBISD students,” Anthony Indelicato, FBISD assistant superintendent of school improvement said. “His commitment and genuine concern for children is apparent in all he does, whether behind the scenes or on the front line, and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with him.” view article arw

Suzanne Smith says she has tried to run a nonpartisan campaign in her low-profile bid for a place on the State Board of Education. But she stands to benefit from the current contentious political climate that might have Texas Democrats running to the polls.  Since January 2017, Smith’s campaign has blown through over $160,000 – just short of all other board candidates’ expenditures combined. With $26,000 left in the bank as early voting comes to an end, Smith could be the first Democrat seated in North Texas’ District 12 since it became an elected position in 1987. view article arw

It is time that we had a frank discussion about our public education system, Texas. By 2020, Texas is set to educate over 5.5 million students in the public K-12 education system, yet this great state ranks 40th in the nation when it comes to education outcomes. If you were to ask any student, parent, or teacher what they disliked about our education system, you would hear one response time and again: standardized testing. Despite the fact that standardized tests have been shown to exhibit a negative bias towards minority and disadvantaged populations, we have allowed standardized testing to become a cornerstone of Texas education. And as we have become more test-centric, we have also allowed the power of critical thought and practical knowledge to fall by the wayside. view article arw

History and social studies teachers in Texas schools must perform a daily quickstep if they want to keep up with rigorous curriculum standards that require them to educate children about high-priority topics and key historical figures.  The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards set the bar high, with third-graders expected to learn about "the purposes of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights" and "the basic structure and functions of various levels of government." view article arw

The Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees announced its choice for two construction managers at risk for upcoming construction projects.  The contractors could bid on one, two or three of the possible bond projects: the middle school, the high school multipurpose facility and the high school baseball/softball complex. Berry and Clay out of Rusk was awarded the bid for the middle school and the high school multipurpose facility.  “They’ve been in business for 41 years,” Torres said. “They’ve completed in the last few years 59 different projects with Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong. view article arw

The state of Texas will require schools to teach that “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict” in the Mideast. The Texas Board of Education voted during a curriculum review last week to keep the controversial sentence in high school textbooks, used by approximately 5.4 million public-school children. The board is comprised of five Democratic members and 10 Republican members, implying that the decision was likely demonstrative of a shift towards a more right-wing educational program. view article arw

Hillary Clinton made history as the first-ever woman nominated by a major party for president, but whether she makes it into history lessons in Texas schools is up for debate. The Texas State Board of Education voted Friday to “streamline” the social studies curriculum in its public schools, including reconsidering which historical figures are considered required learning. Board members approved the removal of Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller, the deaf and blind woman who became a college graduate, author, and political activist, while keeping Biblical figure Moses in lessons on the founding of the US.    view article arw

After four years of battles over ethnic studies textbooks and courses in a state with a booming Latino population, state education officials gave final approval to adopt a Mexican-American studies course that can be taught statewide. Although the State Board of Education OK’d the course with no discussion at its board meeting Friday in Austin, the issue of teaching Texas students about the influence of Mexican-Americans has dominated much of the board’s discussion for more than four years. view article arw

Texas schoolchildren will still learn of the heroic "Victory or Death" letter penned by Lt. Col. William Barret Travis while besieged in the Alamo, under streamlined social studies curriculum standards given approval Friday by the State Board of Education to solicit public feedback.  The board rejected a proposal by an advisory group that suggested deleting the specific reference to the famous letter and deleting the word “heroic” when describing the Alamo heroes.  Instead the board unanimously voted to include this revised language to the seventh-grade Texas history standards: "Explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, the siege of the Alamo, William B. Travis's letter 'To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,' and the heroism of the diverse defenders who gave their lives there; the Constitutional Convention of 1836; Fannin's surrender at Goliad; and the Battle of San Jacinto." view article arw

Don’t mess with Texas history

September 1408:45 AM
 

The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) performs a crucial role in reviewing the material taught in our public schools. Among all of the educational disciplines, our Texas history is among the most important to be taught to our children. History itself is full of ironies. I have the distinct honor to serve Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate, an area that encompasses the town where William Barrett Travis lived most of his life in Texas. view article arw

Texas may change how your child understands biology when taught in a public high school classroom. The Texas' Board of Education tentatively approved changes to portions of the states Biology curriculum. Instead of asking Texas public school students to “evaluate” scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and the complexity of certain cells, the state will now ask that the students "examine" the scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and complexity of certain cells. In the past, some educators have argued that the word "evaluate" encouraged students to challenge the scientific theory of evolution and opened the door to teaching creationism. view article arw

The Georgetown Board of Trustees has hired Fred Brent as the district's newest superintendent. view article arw