What happened during the June 2017 TXSBOE Session?
High school language arts and ESOL standards approved
Again, we received unanimous support for the ESOL and ENG I-IV Standards we proposed! Special thanks to our writing team: Ms. Marianne Sotelo, Ms. Lucia Palomino, Ms. Nicole Hohensee, and Ms. Shannon McCombs, who represented classroom practitioners from across the State and all 20 ESCs.
Revised high school English language arts and reading curriculum standards and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) curriculum standards won final approval from State Board of Education members June 23 on a 13-0 vote. The new high school TEKS will be implemented in the 2020-2021 school year.
Long-range plan committee being established
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my colleagues for the confidence they have in me as a newly elected board member to serve on the Long-Range Plan Committee.
Throughout my career in curriculum development, I have seen first hand the echoes of decisions we make implemented in the classrooms of schools across Texas.
Indeed it has been my career’s focus before and after my election to the State Board of Education. Although at times we may differ on policy, we will never disagree about the importance of Texas students learning in the classroom.
The State Board of Education has begun establishing the membership of the 18-member Long-Range Plan Steering Committee. The public nomination period is now open. This committee will help the board establish goals for public education for the next five to seven years. Community meetings and a statewide survey will also help inform the crafting of these goals.
Revised science TEKS posted
The revised science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for kindergarten through twelfth grade, which were approved by the board in April, are now posted. Unlike the recently approved language arts and reading standards which underwent major restructuring and revisions, the science TEKS were streamlined or reduced. The streamlining was done in response to concerns that it was difficult to teach all the grade-level standards during a standard school year.
Summary of June SBOE action posted
A summary of action taken at the June 23 State Board of Education general meeting is posted at http://tea.texas.gov/sboe/actions/.
Students recognized for charitable, unselfish work
The State Board of Education recently honored 15 public school students as 2017 Student Heroes for exhibiting caring and compassionate assistance to people in their schools and communities. Some of their activities included tutoring, preparing bags of essential items for foster care children, creating a drum line, assisting students with disabilities and hosting birthday parties for homeless children.
Education in Special Session:
The Governor called a Special Session for July 18. The top priority is sunset legislation for the medical board. He said after that sunset bill is approved by the Senate, he will add 19 other issues to the agenda. A number of those are education related, including:
Education Bills signed into Legislation
The 85th Regular Legislative Session provided many opportunities to serve as an asset and resource to our House Representatives and Senators to file bills and amendments, working the legislation in order to provide good education policy for the students of Texas ISDs. Here are some of the bills we worked on:
HB 22, the A-F Public School Evaluation System bill, signed 15 June 2017 - reducing the number of categories from five to four in which schools and districts would be graded under the A-F accountability system. Those categories would evaluate how students perform on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, how schools and districts improve on the STAAR compared to similar campuses statewide, how schools and districts evaluate themselves on performance, and how schools and districts close academic gaps among racial and socioeconomic groups and students who are English and non-English speakers. Read TASA's summary
Below, is a condensed version of HB22, approved by the TxLege:
HB 657, requires an ARD committee to meet before a special education student is administered the state assessment a second time. It would also allow the ARD committee to promote the student to the next grade level without administering the assessment again if the committee concludes that the student has made sufficient progress in the measurable academic goals contained in the student’s IEP.
Signed 29 May 2017
HB 674, the Ban on Early Childhood Suspension bill, which prohibits suspension of a student enrolled in a grade level below grade three from public school and to a positive behavior program for public schools.
Signed 12 June 2017
HB 728, requires the SBOE to develop and implement an Advanced Computer Science Program under which students could complete an advanced mathematics or advanced computer science course. (Current public school computer science courses often do not count toward a student's required coursework nor do they meet entrance requirements for college.) Under the program, school districts will implement rigorous standards, developed by the SBOE, for computer science courses focused on the creation and use of software and computing technologies. HB 728 takes effect immediately (upon governor's signature or inaction — see below) because it received a vote of at least two-thirds of all the members elected to each house. Signed 26 May 2017
SB 463, the Individual Graduation Committee bill, which allows high school students to perform portfolio work and assessments to complete graduation requirements. This one is special due to the amendment providing this opportunity to STAAR and TAKS students. Prior to this amendment, IGC was available to only STAAR/EOC students. Now, individuals who did not receive their high school diplomas during the TAKS administration have a Path to Diploma. Signed 9 June 2017
SB 671 , the Public High School Graduation Credit requirements for a Language Other than English bill, requiring the State Board of Education to adopt criteria to allow a student to comply with the curriculum requirement for one credit under Subsection (b-1)(5) by successfully completing a dual language immersion program under Section28.0051 at an elementary school. Signed 22 May 2017
SB 725, the Fairness in Feeding Act, which allows the donation and distribution of surplus food at public schools and grace period policies for public school students with insufficient balances on prepaid meal cards. This bill absorbed portions of a previous bill (killed by the Freedom Caucus) which would have put an end to lunch shaming. Unlike the bills above, our office did not write portions of either bill. We supported by bringing awareness to our community and paying off cafeteria balances, putting an end to lunch shaming. You can follow and join our efforts at #PaidLunch and #EveryoneEats on social media. Signed 9 June 2017
SB 801, a Suitability bill, signed 9 June 2017 - allowing the Texas State Board of Education to issue a statement as to the suitability (or appropriateness) of proposed instructional materials. In order to be "suitable" materials must be:
The Texas State Board of Education current process: (review online)
All text books & instructional materials are:
SB 826, the high school course sequencing bill which will allow students to double-up in and/or modify from current sequencing in English, Math, Science, and CTE - is headed to the governor’s office. The Senate concurred in House amendments yesterday. The latest version of the bill is attached. The final Senate vote was 31-0 so the bill did achieve the two-thirds votes needed in both chambers to take immediate effect if the governor either signs the bill or lets it become law without his signature. Signed 29 May 2017
Review TASAs "Bills sent to the Governor's desk"
HB 21 – A school finance bill with an education savings account program added died when the House and Senate could not reach a compromise.
HB 515 – This was a student assessment bill that originally would have eliminated the current promotion requirements tied to standardized tests and eliminated social studies STAAR exams.
SB 1883 – This bill would have created an appeal route for charter applicants that were not initially granted an interview and would have eliminated the SBOE’s veto authority.
SB 1776 – This bill would have eliminated the STAAR U.S. History end-of-course exam and substituted it with a test given to immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship.
Since El Paso has demonstrated mastery in this area better than anyone else, it makes sense that we would lead the way for the rest of the state of Texas. Read more here
2017 Student Hero Award
Each year, we have the honor of naming the Texas State Board of Education, District 1 Student Hero. This year, the award goes to Ms. Amanda Aguirre, a 5th grade student in Laredo ISD.
Among the many reasons that Amanda is deserving of this award and much more: she has donated her hair to Locks of Love twice and is working on her third donation now. Additionally, she makes care packages for children whose parents are deployed, goodie bags for families in need, collects bottle tops for free cancer treatments for children, and donates books to her community church. It is not everyday that we are blessed to have angels walking amongst us ~ we are truly the fortunate to have Amanda with us.
The world could use more Amandas.
TXSBOE April 2017 Session Update
What a week! Here's what happened in the world of serving Texas students:
Preparing Texas students to be 21st Century STEM Champions
During the Public Hearing on Science Standards (TEKS), these four educators testified on the importance of authentic and effective Science education, focusing on the best interest of Texas students.
Photo from left to right: Barbara Cargill (SBOE 8), Karina Martinez-Bray, Chemistry (Irving ISD), Aicha Davis, Physics and Chemistry (DeSoto ISD), Lynlie Brown, Biology (Grapevine-Colleyville ISD), Georgina C. Pérez (SBOE 1), Stephanie Strike, Physics (Irving ISD)
Spanish: a syllabic language
The Public Hearing on Spanish Language Arts & Reading put El Paso educators in the spotlight... and what a show! Over 20 pages of amendments - all passed unanimously, resulting in some of the best Language Arts and Reading standards Texas dual-language learners have ever received. Read the amendments
Photo from left to right: Lucia Palomino, Dual Language Teacher (El Paso ISD), Donna Bahorich (SBOE Chair) Georgina C. Pérez (SBOE District 1), Marianne Sotelo, Dual-Language Teacher (El Paso ISD), Maria Eugenia Rapozo, Dual-Language Teacher (El Paso ISD), Margarita Compean, Dual-Language Teacher Facilitator (El Paso ISD)
The background work:
Yes, lots and lots of time and effort goes into creating great documents for our students. Check out the first ever, live-stream, statewide teacher workgroup revising standards in a collaborative and transparent effort. Educators from Region 19 (El Paso), Region 13 (Austin), Alief ISD (Houston), Canutillo ISD, El Paso ISD, San Elizario ISD, La Fe Prep, and Ft Hancock ISD (Hudspeth) - all working on Spanish and English Language Arts and Reading so our Spanish speaking students learn English well... and our English speaking students learn Spanish well, side by side in Dual-Language classrooms across Texas.
Committee on Instruction discusses a high school Comparative Literature course
Board member Georgina C. Pérez, D-El Paso, has proposed a comparative literature class for juniors or seniors that would include works by authors from diverse backgrounds.
The optional course would fulfill students’ English 3 or 4 requirement and would follow established curriculum, so the board wouldn’t have to take on the complicated and lengthy process of creating new curriculum standards. Read the article
Watch our archived April session videos online
PREVIEW OF THE JUNE 2017 SESSION
TEKS Review Schedule
Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees
This week, the CISD Board of Trustees proposed a misguided resolution containing discriminatory terminology, aimed at low-income students. Here is some of the media coverage: El Paso Times, KTSM, KFOX, KVIA, El Diario, and our released statement read at the CISD School Board meeting.
17 Feb 2017
TXSBOE February 2017 Session Update
I want to take this opportunity to bring you all up to speed on what we were able to accomplish at the first meeting of the Texas State Board of Education for this term.
On a personal note, it was very exciting for me because it was my first meeting as your member representative of District 1. Here are a few of the highlights from last week:
I have been committed to ensuring that the TXSBOE is more inclusive for all Texans. I proposed a rule change that would prevent the Chair from limiting public comment to just 30 minutes. Previously if you drove all the way to Austin from El Paso, Odessa, the Trans-Pecos area, or Laredo to address the Board, there was a good chance you wouldn’t even be heard. Now everyone will get their opportunity to address the Board.
Science Standards, Streamlining
We demonstrated that the 4 TEKS in question, focusing on theories outside of the realm of science - leading students to question evolution and introduce creationism - were never written by teachers or scientists, rather they were written by TXSBOE members in 2009. In this article written by former TXSBOE Chair Don McLeroy (appointed by Gov. Rick Perry), who put passages in standards, said he wanted to lead students to creationism.
English Language Arts & Reading Standards
We worked closely with professionals from Region XIX before the meeting and took suggested amendments for K-8 to Austin for consideration. We were able to pass all amendments K-8, submitted by the Region XIX teacher group without opposition.
Spanish Language Arts & Reading Standards
Because Region XIX leads the state in SLAR and ESL success, our suggested amendments were accepted and we will be sharing our strategies with the rest of the state with the hopes of duplicating our success in this area across Texas.
Please note: The Public Comment period will soon open for the aforementioned amendments to be reviewed by all stakeholders. Please feel free to submit your feed back to our office at: Georgina.Perez@tea.texas.gov
February Meeting Wrap-Up
Read the summary of votes taken at the Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 General Meetings of the Board.
Texas State Board of Education
September 12-15, 2017
November 7-10, 2017
January 29 - February 2, 2018
April 10-13, 2018
June 12-15, 2018
September 11-14, 2018
November 13-16, 2018