Sept. 7, 2018

Public hearings on streamlined social studies standards and instructional materials scheduled for Tuesday 

The State Board of Education will hold public hearings Tuesday on proposed streamlined social studies curriculum standards and on new reading and language arts instructional material.

The board meeting begins at 9 a.m. in room 1-104 of the Travis Building at 1701 N. Congress Ave. in Austin. There will first be a public hearing on the new instructional material, followed by a public hearing on the curriculum standards.

Publishers submitted 226 instructional material products for review by the state.  The board is seeking new material for English language arts and reading; kindergarten- grade 8; Spanish language arts and reading, kindergarten- grade 6; English Learners Language Arts, grades 7 and 8; handwriting, kindergarten-grade 5 (English and Spanish); spelling, grades 1-6 (English and Spanish); and Personal Financial Literacy. 

An extensive review by Texas educator panels this summer found that 219 of the 226 submitted products were eligible for adoption by the board, including 178 products that cover 100 percent of the curriculum standards for the particular subject areas.

Any product adopted by the board during its Nov. 13-16 meeting can be purchased by districts and charter schools and will be available for use in Texas classrooms in the fall of 2019. When districts and charter schools order state adopted materials, they are guaranteed a fixed price for eight years, know the extent to which the materials cover the state curriculum standards, and can order accessible material, such as braille versions, at no charge for students with print disabilities.

The second public hearing on Tuesday focuses on streamlining the kindergarten through 12th grade social studies curriculum standards, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS. These standards were last revised and adopted by the board in 2010. The board is responding to repeated complaints that the current standards are too long.

Using a new, rotating system of review, multiple work groups made up of about 100 educators and other stakeholders spent months reviewing the standards and making recommendations for deleting, combining, clarifying or narrowing the scope of the standards.

Final recommendations from the work groups are available for review at https://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Curriculum_Standards/TEKS_Texas_Essential_Knowledge_and_Skills_(TEKS)_Review/Social_Studies_TEKS_Streamlining_Work_Group_Drafts/. Additional information about the social studies TEKS streamlining process is also available at https://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Curriculum_Standards/TEKS_Texas_Essential_Knowledge_and_Skills_(TEKS)_Review/Social_Studies_TEKS_Streamlining/.

Comments about the proposed revisions can be sent to [email protected]. It is helpful if specific explanations are provided to support any proposed changes.

Texans can register from 8 a.m. today through 5 p.m. Monday at https://form.jotform.com/TXEd/sboe-registration-form-for-public-t to provide public testimony at the Tuesday hearings. Due to the anticipated volume, testimony will be limited to two minutes per speaker.

Debbie Ratcliffe
Executive Director

State Board of Education Support Division
Texas Education Agency

[email protected]