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Posts Tagged ‘textbooks’

Next in “What’s wrong with our textbooks”: Climate change

From the inbox: An examination of how proposed social studies textbooks for Texas public schools address climate change reveals distortions and bias that misrepresent the broad scientific consensus on the phenomenon. Climate education specialists at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) examined the proposed textbooks, which publishers submitted for consideration by the State Board […]

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 […]

Digital textbooks are on their way

HISD is on the leading edge. HISD is the first of Texas’ large districts – and among the first large districts in the nation – to radically rethink the way it buys new high school instructional materials, shifting from printed textbooks to digital materials accessible from school-issued laptops. “Our rule is that, each time state […]

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 […]

Teaching creationism in Texas

Zack Kopplin reports on some unconstitutional behavior by a national charter school operator that has several campuses in Texas. When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will […]

Barton versus Cornyn?

From Warren Throckmorton: There is a lot of chatter these days among tea partiers in Texas about who should run against John Cornyn in the 2014 Senate primary. Despite a conservative voting record, Cornyn is being targeted by the tea party set because he is perceived to be soft on Obamacare, immigration, taxes and the national […]

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 […]

CSCOPE still in scope

Every once in awhile, whether they intend to or not, the SBOE does something worthwhile. The State Board of Education concluded its July meeting without providing further guidance as to whether Texas school districts continued to use lessons from CSCOPE, the controversial state-developed curriculum system. “It’s not up to the state board,” chairwoman Barbara Cargill, […]

Open source textbooks

This is a great idea. The words “free” and “college” aren’t often used in the same sentence, but a philanthropic venture at Rice University is drawing attention for bringing them together. OpenStax College, a nonprofit publishing organization founded by a Rice professor, offers free online textbooks for the five most-attended college courses in the country. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Grading Texas science classes

We get a C. Texas public school science courses “pay lip service” to critical content and largely ignore evolution in the middle grades, according to a national education foundation study that gives the state of Texas an overall “C” for science education. The average grade for Texas science curriculum standards by the Thomas B. Fordham […]

McAllen ISD goes digital

Here’s a look at the future, coming to a school near you. A Rio Grande Valley school district plans to equip every one of its 25,000 students with Apple iPads, rolling ahead with a digitally enhanced curriculum effort that’s among the largest of its type in the nation. “It’s not just about a device; it’s […]

SBOE manages to not screw up science supplements

Baby steps. The quietude of yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting came to a screeching halt during today’s final vote over supplemental science materials. After a unanimous preliminary vote on Thursday, the board appeared split over alleged errors in how evolution was addressed in a high school biology submission from Holt McDougal. A board-appointed reviewer […]

Day One at the SBOE

Here’s your TFN Insider coverage of today’s SBOE science hearings. In Part I of the hearings, we find that the SBOE may not be such a major factor in school curriculum any more: 10:20  – Board members are quizzing the commissioner about how the new rules governing the purchase of instructional materials — changes codified […]

Time to get it on again with the SBOE

From an email from the National Center for Science Education: The Texas Board of Education is at it again, this time aiming to insert creationism into high school biology classes via textbook “supplements” (such as those from International Databases, LLC). The other goal: to force mainstream publishers to rewrite their supplements to de-emphasize or undermine […]

Time once again to keep an eye on the SBOE

The Legislature is now out of town, but there will still be action in Austin to watch out for as the State Board of Education holds its July meeting. The Express News lets us know what’s happening. In 2008, an SBOE majority rejected the recommendations of experts and scholars from a two-year process to rewrite […]

So what is the point of the SBOE, anyway?

Here’s another story about the difficulties of SBOE redistricting, and it’s got me wondering why we bother having an elected body called the State Board of Education. This legislative session, lawmakers are working on redrawing the 15 districts based on new census data — released every 10 years — but a rise in population has […]

SBOE wants its new textbooks

But it may not get them. State board members are growing increasingly anxious that lawmakers might not provide funding for new textbooks and instructional material – even though they’re giving the Legislature $1.9 billion from a 157-year-old endowment established to help schools, including providing free textbooks for students. Board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, warns that […]

Republican legislators want SBOE do over on social studies

Good for them. Texas House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands; and House Administration Chairman Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; criticized the new [social studies] standards. Various civil rights and minority advocacy organizations have opposed the standards, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative-leaning education think tank, gave the […]

Where’s the money for new textbooks coming from?

Nobody knows just yet. Neither legislative chamber’s base budget appropriates funds for any new textbooks. The primary concern in the short term is funding for science materials that reflect the 2009 curriculum changes made by the State Board of Education. Those changes are significant, according to Patsy McGee, a Beaumont school district science supervisor and […]

By the way, our social studies standards still suck

So says a conservative think tank. In a report [released Wednesday], the Thomas B. Fordham Institute gives the Texas social studies curriculum standards a “D” while accusing “the conservative majority” of using the curriculum “to promote its political priorities, molding the telling of the past to justify its current views and aims.” “Biblical influences on […]

Cutting the budget means cutting education

No two ways around it. As the single biggest consumer of state money, the Texas public education system stands to lose millions of dollars as the state grapples with a looming budget shortfall. Education Commissioner Robert Scott has suggested more than $260 million in cuts from the state’s almost $40 billion education budget for the […]

Is this the swan song for the clown show?

After all this time, my heart isn’t into snarking on the SBOE and its latest travashamockery. I just want to point one thing out from how the vote went on that ludicrous and hateful anti-Islam resolution: State Board of Education 
vote breakdown For: David Bradley, R-Beaumont; Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands; Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond; Don McLeroy, […]

True culture warriors never sleep

There’s no possible way that this can end well. The [State Board of Education] will consider a resolution next week that would warn publishers not to push a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian viewpoint in world history textbooks. Members of the board’s social conservative bloc asked for the resolution after an unsuccessful candidate for a board seat called […]

White wants to “undo some of the damage” the SBOE has done to social studies

Lord knows, there’s a lot of it to undo. Bill White wants to start with changing the Chair. Some Texans have called for a limited review to address some of the more controversial standards that will influence new history, government, geography and economics textbooks for 4.8 million public school children. Only the board chairman sets […]

The clown show finally calls it a wrap

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some other state to be the national laughingstock again. The Court of Criminal Appeals gives it a good run for its money, but you just can’t out-embarrass the SBOE, and every time they meet it gets worse. All I can say is thank goodness that two […]

Back to the clown show

So here’s a bunch of coverage from yesterday’s SBOE hearings: from the Chron, the DMN, the Statesman, the Trib, TFN, and BOR. Very short summary: Many people testified. Some said crazy things. Others begged the SBOE to not enshrine crazy things in the standard social studies curriculum. Some Democratic lawmakers reminded the SBOE that funding […]

And the clown show gets underway again

Here’s your TFN liveblogging of today’s SBOE social studies hearings. Brian Thevenot of The Trib is also there, and he reports that an interesting character has asked the Board to slow down. Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Houston Superintendent Rod Paige this morning asked the State Board of Education to delay adopting its new […]

Briefly noted

Some interesting things from today that I wanted to note… There are plenty of people who want to be on the Appropriations Committee, so putting some who doesn’t want to be there, like State Rep. Joe Driver of Dallas, doesn’t make much sense. But once you’re on Appropriations, whether you wanted it or not, you […]

Science textbook delay

The adoption of new science textbooks may be delayed a year as a budget maneuver. The $1.4 billion price tag for new science textbooks and other materials has been causing sticker shock among state officials bracing for the upcoming budget shortfall. So, the State Board of Education on Tuesday must decide whether to push ahead […]

“We went out and won some elections”

I know people who read this blog understand the importance of voting in every election, but I think it’s good to be reminded from time to time. So with that, this Statesman article about the current state of the SBOE and how they managed to do so much damage to the public school curriculum, sums […]