SBOE works to streamline social studies TEKS

Efforts to streamline the state’s lengthy Social Studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for kindergarten through high school are under way.

Educator work groups have been working for months to delete, combine, clarify and narrow the scope of the standards as part of the streamlining process. The one thing they are not doing is proposing the addition of new curriculum standards.

The State Board of Education decided to streamline the standards in response to feedback from the field that the TEKS were so lengthy that it was difficult to teach all of them to the depth they should be taught in one school year.

Among the foundation subject areas of reading language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, the high school U.S. History class, typically taken by 11th-grade students, has the highest number of student expectations, with 130 currently expected to be taught. In contrast, English III, which is also typically taken by 11th-grade students, has 63 student expectations.

When comparing the number of student expectations at every grade level for the four foundation areas, the top three courses with the most TEKS are U.S. History (130), World History (123), and Grade 8 U.S. History (110). The foundation course outside the social studies area with the most student expectations is third-grade reading language arts with 65.

Draft recommendations for streamlining the social studies standards  proposed to date by the work groups can be found at .

Board members discussed the draft recommendations grade by grade at their June board meeting and posed numerous questions to the work groups.

The board is expected to approve publication of the proposals for the official public comment period at its Sept. 11-14 meeting, with final adoption expected at the Nov. 13-16 board meeting.