TEA News Release 2

 

TEA News Releases Online

April 20, 2012

 

SBOE approves math standards, textbook rules

 

AUSTIN – The State Board of Education today approved new more rigorous math standards and textbook adoption rules that reflect the changing instructional materials marketplace.

Board members approved more than 100 amendments to the mathematics Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills this week as they worked to clarify and streamline the standards that will form the basis of math instruction for students in kindergarten through high school.

“I think we have adopted… very good standards,” said board member Bob Craig of Lubbock.  “We’ve gotten good public input.”

Hundreds of Texas educators, citizens and business leaders offered input that was used to craft the standards.

“Texas is making a strong statement that it can write its own standards,” said board Chair Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands.

Texas is one of the few states in the nation that has not adopted the Common Core standards.

In an effort to streamline the Texas curriculum, the board removed about 80 percent of the illustrative examples introduced by the words “such as” in the standards.

Several educators who testified before the board this week said the new standards provide more in-depth coverage of math topics than the current standards, which were adopted in the past three to nine years, depending on the grade level.

The new standards will be implemented in kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms in the 2014-2015 school year, while the new high school standards will be implemented in 2015-2016.

The implementation date was split to ensure that funds were available to purchase new textbooks and other instructional material based on the updated standards.  It will also give teachers more time to update their lesson plans.

The board this week also heavily amended its rules dealing with the adoption and distribution of instructional materials.

Until recently, all instructional material purchased by the state went through the board’s extensive review and adoption process.  Changes in law over the last several years have opened up the marketplace, allowing districts to use state funds to purchase materials from the commissioner of education’s adoption list or from vendors who operate completely outside either state adoption process.

Many of the rule changes were an attempt to make accommodations that would encourage publishers to continue to participate in the board’s adoption process so that the materials could be thoroughly vetted to determine if they cover the state’s curriculum standards.  Whether instructional materials are purchased through the state process or in the open market, school districts are required to cover 100 percent of the curriculum standards.

Board members also approved the textbook proclamation, which is a call for bids, for instructional materials for mathematics, kindergarten through grade eight; science, kindergarten through 12th grade; and a number of technology application courses.