MILES — Superintendent Robert Gibson is leaving behind a legacy of unmatched leadership. After 19 years with Miles Independent School District, Gibson is retiring June 29, 2018.   "Everyday it's a pleasure to come to work and see the kids and the teachers," he said. "Everyone has always been very friendly. It's just a family-style atmosphere here at Miles, and the community has always supported the school in anything that we do."  view article arw

For more than four years academics and activists have been advocating for a Mexican American Studies course before the Texas State Board of Education.  The Republican-controlled board heard appeal after appeal for Mexican American Studies coursework for high school students as an elective. It even approved the development of standards for a course of that name.  Board members have witnessed protesters outside its Austin chambers holding signs that refer to Mexican American Studies and MAS. It heard that acronym a lot as it considered and eventually rejected two textbooks, one for racist content. Both books used that acronym. view article arw

SAN BENITO — The San Benito school district is looking into the possibility of opening up a Mexican American studies course.  After years of being denied, a Mexican American studies course was passed by the Texas State Board of Education recently, opening up possibilities for school districts across Texas.  Originally presented as Mexican American Studies, Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent could become available for use in Texas classrooms in the 2019-2020 school year. view article arw

SBOE releases survey results

April 1608:41 AM

Spend some time with this survey! - js -  Texans believe the top two desired outcomes for public schools are to teach communications, problem-solving, critical thinking and other employability skills and to prepare students to be productive citizens, according to results of a survey conducted on behalf of the State Board of Education.  As part of the board’s effort to gather citizen input as it prepares a new Long-Range Plan for Public Education, a survey was conducted on five topics: view article arw

The Texas Education Agency’s timeline for screening applicants to establish new charter school systems was announced at the close of today’s State Board of Education meeting. TEA staff will interview six applicants on May 21-22; SBOE members also may participate in the questioning. The commissioner of education then is expected to make his approval recommendations by May 31, subject to case-by-case veto by the 15-member SBOE on June 15.  view article arw

The next meeting of the trustees of the Teacher Retirement System on April 19-20 gives us a fresh opportunity to call for increased state contributions to counteract erosion of pension benefits and steep health-care cost increases burdening both active and retired school employees.   view article arw

Four years after Texas refused to embrace a “Mexican-American Studies” course in a state with a booming Latino population, the State Board of Education tentatively agreed Wednesday to usher in standards that will make the class easier to provide as a high school elective statewide. But in a move that sparked a fresh backlash, the board voted to change the program’s name to “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent,” after one member objected to using hyphenated terms to describe people. “I find hyphenated Americanism to be divisive,” said member David Bradley, a conservative Republican from Beaumont who proposed the name change. view article arw

Texas advocates for Mexican-American studies classes won a bitter victory Wednesday, in gaining approval to move forward with the class they wanted, but losing the course title. The board had been debating more than four years over how and whether to offer teachers materials and guidance to teach Mexican-American studies. In a preliminary vote, the State Board of Education voted nearly unanimously to create curriculum standards for the elective class. But now it will be called “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent.”   view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Board of Education has given preliminary approval to creating statewide academic standards for a Mexican-American studies high school course - but only after changing the name to "ethnic studies," which conservatives argued is less divisive. view article arw

Meeting is April 11 - 13 - This week the Texas State Board of Education could make history. It could pave the way to a high school Mexican American Studies course, the first time specific state standards could be set for an ethnic studies class in Texas.  It would be a monumental step for a state whose board of education has been associated with non-academic decision-making, policy vetted not by educators but by religious conservatives and books filled with contorted views of history. view article arw

Dozens of people are signed up to testify before state education officials Wednesday about embracing a Mexican-American Studies course here, a move advocates hope will pave the way for future discussion about encouraging other ethnic studies classes in Texas schools. The Latino population is booming in Texas with more than half the state’s 5.4 million school-aged-children coming from Mexican or Latino backgrounds. However, the State Board of Education opted four years ago not to establish official standards for a Mexican-American Studies course, leading teachers and researchers to build a road map for the class from scratch. 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