Over the past year we received feedback from educators and experts in the fields of mathematics, personal financial literacy and computer science, along with various business and education reform groups.
To address the concerns raised by these groups, the board adopted over 120 amendments
recommended by teachers, experts, TEA staff and public commentators. During the consideration of every amendment, representatives of the Texas Association of Supervisors of Math were sitting near my desk to ensure the amendments were improving the standards, not exacerbating the problems.
I have heard concerns across my district that many of our standards are “a mile long and an inch deep” which isn’t beneficial for the students and promotes teaching to the test. I have been assured that these standards have been significantly improved and specifically address this concern.
In previous standards adoptions, many of the last minute amendments came from SBOE members. This did not happen this week.
The board truly listened to the experts and educators on what needed to be changed and the vast majority of the amendments passed unanimously in a refreshing display of bipartisanship.
I am proud to say we maintained my amendment language that for the first time ever prohibits these new standards from being imposed on school districts unless/until the Texas Legislature provides the funding for the new instructional materials.
Finally, many observers were struck by the collegial attitude and spirit in our meetings this week. This really was a good example of what the SBOE is capable of accomplishing when we focus our efforts on education instead of politics.
SBOE, District 9