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Posts Tagged ‘SBOE’

Time again to talk textbooks

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network sounded the alarm in the Sunday op-eds. The last time Texas adopted social studies textbooks – in 2002 – political activists and members of the state education board themselves demanded scores of changes to content they didn’t like. Publishers resisted some, such as demands to downplay slavery as […]

Primary runoff results

So long, Dave. Riding a wave of conservative sentiment that Texas Republicans were not being led with a hard enough edge, state Sen. Dan Patrick crushed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for lieutenant governor, ending the career of a dominant figure in state politics for the last dozen years. The […]

SBOE does something OK

I know, I’m as surprised as you are. Instead of making Mexican-American studies an official high school course, the Texas State Board of Education has settled on a tentative compromise that would allow school districts to decide whether to offer the course. “It wasn’t necessarily what we were hoping, with a stand-alone course for Mexican-American […]

HISD board votes for Mexican-American studies class

You would think this wouldn’t be a big deal. The Houston school board, representing the largest district in Texas, threw its support Thursday behind the creation of a Mexican-American studies course in Texas public schools. The 9-0 vote followed some debate over whether the district would appear to be favoring one culture over another. “Unanimous […]

SBOE backs down on Algebra 2

So much for that. Only high school students who pursue an honors plan or a diploma specializing in math and science will have to take algebra II under recommendations that the Texas State Board of Education preliminarily approved Thursday. Despite an initial proposal that had included the advanced math course in all five new diploma […]

Are we going to require Algebra 2 or not?

Apparently, despite what happened in the last Legislature, it’s still an open question. The State Board of Education has proposed toughening high school graduation requirements despite the Legislature’s clear intent last spring to provide more flexibility. The board’s draft plan – up for debate and a preliminary vote this week – would require most students […]

Standing up for science

Sure hope it did some good. A past Texas State Board of Education chairman and outspoken creationist urged his former colleagues on Tuesday to approve high school biology textbooks he said would “strike a final blow to the teaching of evolution.” Appearing at a board hearing on new instructional materials, Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist […]

SBOE getting set to review biology textbooks

TFN Insider sounds the alarm. We already knew that creationists on the State Board of Education had nominated anti-evolution ideologues to sit on teams reviewing proposed new high school biology textbooks in Texas. We now have seen the actual reviews from those ideologues — and they’re every bit as alarming as we warned they would […]

Ratliff and Patrick spar over CSCOPE

Sounds like fun. The state curriculum system known as CSCOPE — little known until recently — can now add two hours of lively and at times testy debate to a long list of public appearances that includes State Board of Education meetings, legislative hearings and the Glenn Beck Show. On Saturday evening, SBOE member Thomas […]

Patrick versus Ratliff

TFN Insider: Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, has already made clear his disgust over the political witch hunt that forced the state’s Education Service Centers to stop writing lesson plans in their CSCOPE curriculum management system. In May, for example, he tore into Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, […]

Testing and charter bills pass

A lot of stuff gets done at the last possible minute in the Legislature. The two big education bills were examples of this. The session’s two biggest school reform bills, one from each chamber, have danced the House and Senate in the session’s closing days—a stalemate that broke Sunday night as both bills passed each […]

House approves charter expansion bill SB2

A big step forward for those who would like to see more charters. Senate Bill 2 passed on a 105-34 vote on second reading. It now faces a third reading before it can be reconciled with a similar version the Senate passed last month. “I think the bill supports quality charters, helping them to expand […]

Legislative quick hits

This is the time of the session where there’s lots happening, and there isn’t always the time or space to stay on top of it all. So here are a few quick updates on things that are happening in an attempt to at least not be too far behind. A bill to give Tesla Motors […]

SBOE passes anti-voucher resolution

Good for them. The Texas State Board of Education voted 10-5 on Friday to urge the Legislature to reject proposals that would result in public funds being allocated for private educational institutions. The resolution, authored by Board of Education member Ruben Cortez, Jr., D-Brownsville, asks the legislature to “reject all vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, tax […]

The redistricting commission idea rides again

Jeff Wentworth is no longer in the Senate, but his signature idea for a bipartisan redistricting commission still lives, now in an expanded form. State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) filed a proposed constitutional amendment Wednesday that would move responsibility for both congressional and legislative redistricting in Texas to a 7-person, bipartisan commission. The proposed amendment […]

Precinct analysis: Comparing 2012 and 2008, Senate and SBOE edition

To follow up on my previous examination of how the 2012 election returns looked in State House districts compared to the 2008 returns, I now have the data to look at other types of districts as well. You can find it as well on the Texas Legislative Council’s webpage – here are the reports for […]

Patrick files his “school choice” bill

From the Trib: The State Board of Education currently oversees applications for charter school contracts, which state law caps at 215. Patrick’s Senate Bill 2 would create a new state entity to authorize the contracts and lift that cap, allowing for an unlimited number of charter school operators in the state. “There is no one […]

Riddle wants to abolish the HCDE

From Big Jolly: State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-150) filed HB945 [last] week. If enacted, it would abolish the Harris County Department of Education, transferring control of the assets to the Harris County Commissioners Court, and giving the commissioners one year to liquidate them. The brains behind this, if you can call them that, is former […]

Soto’s parting gift on textbooks

Outgoing SBOE member Michael Soto will be missed. Soto, the Trinity University English professor who was knocked off in this year’s Democratic primary by the little-known Marisa Perez, spent much of his two years on the board grappling with frustration over the state’s cumbersome textbook mandates. So, in his final months in office, he quietly […]

Some sanity on STAAR

This is a welcome development. A requirement that the state exams count toward 15 percent of a student’s course grade sparked a backlash last spring over the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, among parents whose ninth-graders were the first to take the more rigorous exams. A statewide parent group emerged out […]

Precinct analysis: The range of possibility

Here’s a look at selected districts in Harris County that shows the range of votes and vote percentages achieved by Democratic candidates. I’ve thrown in the Obama and Sam Houston results from 2008 for each to provide a comparison between how the district was predicted to perform and how it actually did perform. Without further […]

Precinct analysis: Obama v Obama

So as mentioned before I now have a draft canvass for Harris County. There’s a lot of data to go through, and I’ll probably publish most of what I find after the holiday. One thing I’d like to share for now is a comparison of how President Obama did in the various redrawn districts versus […]

Overview of SBOE6

The Memorial Examiner takes a look at the race in SBOE6 between Republican Donna Bahorich and Democrat Traci Jensen. Bahorich is former district director for state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-District 7) and says her experience with the state legislative process adds to her qualifications for the post. A former manager at Mountain Bell, she home-schooled […]

All the interviews for 2012

As we begin early voting for the November election, here are all the interviews I conducted for candidates who are on the ballot as well as for the referenda. These include interviews that were done for the primary as well as the ones done after the primary. I hope you found them useful. Senate: Paul […]

Endorsement watch: For reason

In making their endorsements in State Board of Education races, the Chron “supports an incumbent who has fought for reason and clarity, and two challengers who would be fresh voices of reason”. As well they should. In District 4, Lawrence Allen, the Democratic incumbent, fought to see that slavery wasn’t downplayed as the chief cause […]

Texas Freedom Network’s guide to the SBOE elections

The Texas Freedom Network has put out a useful little voter’s guide to the 2012 State Board of Education elections, which covers a range of topics from creationism and climate change to bullying and SBOE procedures. You might look at the answers that the candidates who responded submitted and think “Hey, cool, everyone is basically […]

Traci Jensen’s challenge

I got the following from the Traci Jensen campaign the other day: This past Wednesday morning, Traci and her Republican opponent Donna Bahorich participated in the Greater Houston Partnership’s “Meet the Candidates: State Board of Education” forum. This was the first time Traci and Bahorich had ever met. Three candidates running in two other area […]

Once again on charter school facilities

David Dunn of the Texas Charter Schools Association writes another op-ed about funding for charter school facilities. The Texas Charter Schools Association has looked at the needs of public school students whose parents have chosen the option of public charter schools for them, and we know that these Houston students deserve the same consideration as […]

Fall interview season begins tomorrow

I know that we just finished the primary runoffs, but we’re also now more than halfway through August, so it’s time to start doing interviews with candidates for the fall. I’ll be up candid, I don’t know exactly how many interviews I plan to do. For the most part, I don’t anticipate re-interviewing candidates that […]

2012 Republican primary runoffs

All the results are here. In the end, Ted Cruz won a pretty solid victory. I’ll note that in the last two publicly released polls, PPP had Cruz up by 10, whereas Baselice & Associates claimed Dewhurst was up by 5. Oops. The latter poll sampled people who hadn’t actually voted in the May primary, […]

Who sets the standard for science?

I don’t get the fuss over this. Many say students need to be science literate so they can innovate, compete and maneuver with the latest technology. If the United States wants to compete on the world stage, teachers and science lessons must evolve, too. It’s largely with this agenda in mind that the National Research […]

We apparently will have a candidate in SBOE1 after all

The Trib reviews the bidding on the Martha Dominguez situation in SBOE 1. According to the Texas Election Code, primary candidates have until 63 days before the primary election to apply to have their name withdrawn (this year it was March 12), and they must withdraw with “the authority with whom the withdrawing candidate’s application […]

School finance lawsuit #6

And then there were six. The Texas Charter School Association announced Tuesday that it would enter the legal fray, arguing that the state has short-changed charter schools because it does not provide funding for facilities. “Just because a parent puts his or her students in a charter school doesn’t mean that they deserve that funding […]

The TFN on the SBOE

Hair Balls attended a session at the TDP convention held by the Texas Freedom Network about electing a less-embarrassing State Board of Education. More than 600 people packed a ballroom at the George R Brown Convention Center on Saturday morning for TFN’s session, “Ignorance Is Not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of […]