*Educators* Should Serve On Board Of Education

Candidate’s Guide to Primary and General Election

It looks like we need more highly qualified educators to run for Texas State Board of Education. I don’t have anything against being a liberal, conservative, or independent on the board, but I do have a problem with an education board made of people who haven’t taught in the classroom.

I was very concerned about the new curriculum standards the board created for language arts this fall. The previous standards were closely based on standards created by NCTE, a group who should make standards. Luckily TEA got the best teachers in the state to interpret the standards to create a meaningful and sound set of state tests. The tests have more influence on the classroom than the standards, so we dodged a bullet in this case.

Now there’s national attention on what’s going into Texas textbooks. John Stewart illustrated the problem on his 3/17 show.

At the end, he suggests getting elected to TX SBOE. You only need 500 signatures, to be a Texas resident a while, and a few more qualifications.

New Standards (TEKS) in Texas

There was a whirlwind of emails earlier in the year, when us teachers were at our busiest, about the possibility of new TEKS in Texas. I was concerned because the TEKS I teach are very close to those that teachers from across the country have published with NCTE. The TEKS that we will be required to teach starting in the 2009-2010 school year were implemented despite concerns that other educators had voiced.

This year, I’ve been teaching these TEKS for 8th Grade:
Next year, I’ll be teaching these:
I’ll be spending time trying to compare and contrast them to see what I taught this year that I can salvage.

There is an NCTE article in the March 2009 Council Chronicle titled, “Teacher Advocacy: What Happened in Texas.” I haven’t yet formed a response.