Streamlined social studies TEKS approved

 The State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval in November to streamlined social studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for kindergarten through 12th grade. 

 The board tried to strike a balance between requests from teachers who felt the TEKS included too many standards that needed to be reduced and those who felt it was important to retain noteworthy individuals in the curriculum standards. 

 More than 5,000 formal comments were received about the proposed changes.  

 “History is personal. It indicates where we’ve come from and where we are headed,” said SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich, acknowledging the high public interest in the topic. 

 Responding to the concerns of educators and the public, the board cut a number of TEKS but also: 

  •  Reinstated references to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, deaf/blind advocate Helen Keller, the World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), Biblical figure Moses., and the Navajo Code Talkers 
  •  Rephrased but retained references to the heroic defenders of the Alamo. 

 The board approved this standard related to the Alamo in the seventh-grade Texas history course: “Explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales; the siege of the Alamo, William B. Travis's letter ‘To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,’ and the heroism of the diverse defenders who gave their lives there…” 

 Board members also approved the following language related to the Civil War in fifth and eighth-grade courses: “Explain the central role of the expansion of slavery in causing sectionalism, disagreement over states’ rights, and the Civil War.” They also added the following new standard to fifth grade: “Explain the effects of the Civil War including Reconstruction and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.” 

 The streamlined standards will be effective Aug. 1, 2019 for grades 6-8 and high school. The revisions for kindergarten through fifth grade will be effective Aug. 1, 2020.  

 Once all the amendments made at the November meeting are incorporated into the social studies TEKS, the final streamlined standards will be posted at  and .