State Board of Education

Education
5:49 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Update on Mexican-American Studies Course in Texas Public Schools

Supporters of a statewide standard for teaching Mexican-American studies in Texas spoke before a hearing of the State Board of Education on April 8, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

Update: High schools in Texas are one step closer to getting state-funded materials to teach courses in Mexican-American studies after a vote today by the Texas State Board of Education. 

Board members voted to ask publishers to develop textbooks for Mexican-American studies, along with three other social studies courses: African-American, Asian-American and Native-American studies. But the board stopped short of developing a statewide course on the topics. A final vote is scheduled for later this week.

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Education
9:39 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Texas Overhauls Textbook Approval To Ease Tensions Over Evolution

Kansas Board of Education members look over language for a science textbook in 2007. The fight over the teaching of evolution has been particularly fierce in Texas, which because of its size influences many textbook publishers.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:01 am

The Texas Board of Education, which has long been an ideological battleground for the teaching of evolution, says it will limit the use of citizen review panels and instead give priority to teachers in determining science and history curricula.

Because Texas public schools represent such a large market for textbook publishers, the state has an outsized influence on what is taught in the rest of the country.

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State Board of Education
12:19 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Texas Education Board Approves New High School Grad Requirements

The State Board of Education approved new graduation requirements that don't require all students to talk Algebra II
John Walker, Flickr

The State Board of Education officially adopted new state high school graduation requirements this morning. The vote was 14 to one in support of the changes. El Paso Democrat Martha Dominguez voted against it.

Last year, lawmakers got rid of the previous graduation plan which required students to take four math, science, English and social studies courses.

Under the new plan, all students are required to take four years of  English and at least three years of math, science and social studies. Students will then have to choose one of five paths to graduation, known as endorsements. 

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Education
7:48 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Fewer Social Studies Requirements for Texas Students Worry Advocates

Next year, high school students will only have to take three years of social studies to graduate instead of four, which has advocates concerned about the role of social studies in an increasingly global society.
Ryan Stanton, Flickr

The State Board of Education will make its final decision today on new high school graduation requirements. The changes come after state lawmakers passed a bill last year that reduces the number of required courses to graduate. Among the changes: students only have to take three social studies classes to graduate instead of four.

In the early 1990s, Texas became the first state to require students to take four social studies classes to graduate. The change back to three has some worried that Texas students won’t be as prepared for an increasingly global society.

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State Board of Education
10:19 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Should Texas Students Be Required to Take Algebra II to Graduate?

A new law passed this year reduces the number of tests Texas students have to pass to graduate high school. But education advocates disagree on whether Algebra II should be one of those coureses. The SBOE heard testimony on the issue Wednesday.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/underneath/

Update: The State Board of Education preliminarily voted Thursday night to only require Algebra II for students pursuing an honors diploma or pursuing a STEM education endorsement for graduation. 

Under new legislation passed this year, high school students will have to choose at least one of five endorsement paths to graduation. The five endorsements are science and math, business and industry, art and humanities, public service and multidisciplinary studies. Supporters say the different paths will allow more flexibility for students to pursue classes they're interested in and better prepare students for college or the workforce.

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State Board of Education
6:09 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

State Board of Education Removes Speech Requirement From High School Graduation Standards

The SBOE preliminarily voted Thursday to remove speech as a graduation requirement for high school students in Texas. They vote on a first reading Friday with a final adoption in January.
flickr.com/nirak

The State Board of Education preliminarily voted Thursday to remove speech as one of the required courses for high school graduation in Texas.

The board opted to give local school districts final say on whether or not high school students should be required to take speech. Board Member Tom Maynard says speech is a valuable class, but local school districts should decide whether or not it’s required.

“When in doubt, leave it to the locals to decide that. I suspect either most districts will hold on to that or embed that content in other coursework," Maynard said during Thursday's meeting.

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State Board of Education
11:23 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Textbook Standards, Charter Schools, Graduation Requirements Keep Education Board Busy

About 200 people gathered outside the Texas Education Agency building Tuesday to protest proposed changes to high school biology textbooks. Protestors were concerned ideological and religious beliefs will be considered alongside scientific theories.
Kate McGee, KUT News

This week was a busy one for Texas education. Here's what we picked up.

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State Board of Education
4:59 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

State School Board Undecided on What Courses Should Count for Graduation (Update)

State Board of Education member Patricia Hardy, photographed in 2011. The board is wrestling with high school course graduation requirements.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

Update: State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke and answered questions regarding House Bill 5 in front of the State Board of Education today.

Patrick’s endorsement of the bill, which provides for different paths to high school graduation, was met with skepticism from board member Patricia Hardy. Hardy’s concern revolved around the removal of social studies classes from high school graduation requirements. She argued that turning social studies courses into electives limits a student’s exposure to important information.

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Education
5:26 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

What Does House Bill 5 Mean For the Future of Texas High Schools?

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Texas high schools are preparing for major changes to graduation requirements. Under a new law, schools will have less standardized testing. But when it comes to implementing the new legislation, many questions are yet to be answered. 

The State Board of Education hashed out the details today of how to enforce the new high school graduation requirements that go into effect in the 2014-15 school year. Monica Martinez, managing director of curriculum for the Texas Education Agency, noted the challenges of implementing standards consistently statewide. 

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Education
7:03 am
Thu August 1, 2013

So-Called 'Anti-American' Lesson Plans Available in Public Domain?

Education officials are questioning whether Texas teachers can use previously downloaded CSCOPE lesson plans after lawmakers announced the company would not be producing any more lessons.
flickr.com/ajalfaro

School starts in three weeks and, for many school districts across Texas, there’s still some confusion over whether teachers can use a system of lesson plans. The so-called CSCOPE lesson plans drew fire over allegations they promoted anti-American ideas. During the legislative session, Republican lawmakers announced Texas teachers would no longer use the plans and the non-profit, quasi-state agency that published them would cease to.

State Board of Education leaders say the controversy surrounding CSCOPE will most likely continue into the fall.

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Education
12:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

SBOE to Review CSCOPE (Update)

CSCOPE

Update: The Texas Education Agency reports the State Board of Education approved a resolution today supporting a review of CSCOPE material. Thirteen SBOE members voted in favor of the measure. Two abstained.

Some conservatives have argued  CSCOPE has an anti-American bias.

According to the TEA's website:

CSCOPE is a curriculum management system created by Texas Education Service Centers with assistance from content experts. It is now used in 875 public school districts, charter schools and private schools in Texas, which educate 34 percent of the state's total student population.

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Education
4:07 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Barbara Cargill Named New State Board of Education Chair

Barbara Cargill is the first board leader confirmed since 2005.
Caleb Bryant Miller, Texas Tribune

For the first time since 2005, the Texas Senate has confirmed someone to serve a full term as head of the State Board of Education. Barbara Cargill, a Republican from The Woodlands, was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011.

Cargill has supported a measure that requires students to question evolution. State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, says Cargill reassured him that she would not allow her religious conservatism to interfere with her leadership of the board.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

SBOE Chair Begins Confirmation Journey

SBOE's Barbara Cargill at Senate panel
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Barbara Cargill was appointed State Board of Education chair last July by Governor Perry. Yesterday, she faced some pointed questions from Texas Senators during a hearing on whether to approve her appointment. 

The last two SBOE Chairs appointed by Governor Perry were blocked by Democrats in the Texas Senate. In 2009, Don McLeroy failed to win Senate approval, as did Gail Lowe in 2011.

The Texas Freedom Network, a government watchdog group, says the SBOE has spent too much time pushing socially and political conservative views in science and social studies textbooks. Cargill admitted the board had at times become a “...circus act.”

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Education
4:59 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Texas Needs More Career and Technical Progams, Says Perry

Gov. Rick Perry called for more career and technical programs at his first State Board of Education meeting of the year.
Credit KUT News

Governor Rick Perry called for more career and technical programs—in addition to expanding charter schools and implementing a tax-credit scholarship program—during his address to the State Board of Education and its eight newly elected members this morning.

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Education
5:14 am
Tue January 1, 2013

UT Researcher Sees Racial Bias in Texas Social Studies

Marjorie Cotera, Texas Tribune

Interview with Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig

Public school students in Texas may or may not learn about important African-American and Latino historical figures because many of the lessons are optional, according to a recently published study by University of Texas researchers. And when it comes to Native Americans and Asian Americans in Texas, "it's almost as if they didn't exist," says the study's author, Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig

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Politics
4:42 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Publisher Pulls Book by Evangelical Historian David Barton

Thomas Nelson Publishing

An evangelical Christian historian who has contributed to the development of Texas social studies curriculum has seen his book on Thomas Jefferson dropped by its publishing company, according to the Christian news publication The World.

David Barton – whom Time Magazine once named one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America – has drawn controversy for his belief that the United States was founded on Christian biblical principles. It’s a perspective he promotes from his Aledo, Texas-based organization WallBuilders.

Barton’s most recent book,The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson, will no longer be published or distributed by Thomas Nelson publishing after the company received “a number” of complaints about its accuracy. Barton debated the book in May with The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.

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Education
12:52 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Texas Weighs State-Based Alternative to GED Exam

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Texas may soon add one more item to the list of national education practices it has bucked over the years.  

Because of changes coming to the GED in 2014, the Texas Education Agency is putting out feelers to figure out how much a new state-based high school equivalency exam would cost.

Last year, the American Council on Education, a national organization of higher-education institutions that develops the exams, partnered with Pearson, a London-based testing company. They formed a jointly owned entity called GED Testing Services, which has since overhauled the exam in an effort to better test the skills needed in the workplace.

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AM Update
8:12 am
Tue April 24, 2012

AM Update: Migration from Mexico, AISD Negotiations, McLeroy Visits 'Colbert Report'

Study finds hundreds of thousands of Mexican immigrants are leaving the U.S.
Flickr user Noah Jacquemin, bit.ly/127bpAP

Migration from Mexico to U.S. at Net Zero — Or less

Are more Mexican immigrants leaving the United States than entering? Maybe. A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center found net migration from Mexico to the U.S. has stopped—and perhaps reversed.

In an analysis of censuses and other data from both countries, researchers determined 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the U.S. from 2005 to 2010. Over that same five-year period, 1.4 million Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-born children moved from America to Mexico.

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Austin
8:58 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/31/12: Redistricting Closing Arguments, AISD, Texas Science Gets a C

A federal court will hear closing arguments today in the Texas redistricting trial.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News

Closing Arguments in Texas Redistricting Trial

A federal court in Washington will hear closing arguments today in the Texas redistricting trial, the Associated Press reports. 

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Education
1:39 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Report: Social Studies Guidelines Not Aligned With College Standards

Photo by Judy Baxter http://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/

Social studies standards adopted by the Texas State Board of Education will leave students unprepared for college, according to a new report by a professor of history at the University of Texas El Paso.

The report was prepared by Keith Erekson for the Social Studies Faculty Collaborative, an organization funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The report’s findings have not been reviewed by the Faculty Collaborative or the Coordinating Board.

“The end result for the students in the classroom is that it’s going to be a lot harder to go to college,” said Erekson, who directs a teacher education program and a center for history and learning at UTEP.

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