EDUCATION: Public Education

Texas Approves New Social Studies Texts — With Changes

State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.
State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.

The State Board of Education voted to adopt a new list of social studies textbooks Friday morning, following a week of intense debate and hundreds of pages of updates and corrections.

Publisher Pulls Textbook From SBOE Consideration

The new U.S. history framework is the first of what will be updates to all 34 AP subjects offered as a result of a redesign effort launched by the College Board in 2006.
The new U.S. history framework is the first of what will be updates to all 34 AP subjects offered as a result of a redesign effort launched by the College Board in 2006.

A major publisher has decided to withdraw a social studies textbook under consideration for approval in Texas amid ongoing controversy over last-minute content changes.

 

Common Core Stymies Vote on New Textbooks

State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill questions textbook publishers on the contents of their publications at a meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill questions textbook publishers on the contents of their publications at a meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

After wrangling over the proper definition of jihad and the influence of Moses on the Founding Fathers, the State Board of Education’s initial vote on new social studies textbooks was ultimately derailed by Common Core. 

The Brief: Controversy Emerges Again Over Textbooks

State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.
State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.

A new controversy could crop up this week as the State Board of Education is expected to adopt new social studies textbooks.

The Brief: Border, Immigration Top Texans' Concerns

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden stands next to a 30 caliber rifle as he patrols the Rio Grand on the U.S.-Mexico border , Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden stands next to a 30 caliber rifle as he patrols the Rio Grand on the U.S.-Mexico border , Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

Border security and immigration top the list of concerns in Texas, according to the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Texas Takes Last Pass at Social Studies Textbooks

State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

In a month, the State Board of Education will take a final vote on the social studies textbooks that will be used in the state's public schools for the next eight years. 

Texas Schools Face Fears of Ebola, Lagging Attendance

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).

Though Texas schools are relying on the guidance of health officials to determine the level of risk to their communities, they are making decisions like whether to cancel classes, give notice to parents, or change health screening policies largely on their own.

Details Yet to Emerge in Patrick's Tax Proposal

Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is shown at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.
Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is shown at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.

Dan Patrick, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, has made clear that he wants to lower property taxes. What he has left unclear — both to voters and to prominent business groups that have endorsed him — is exactly how he'll do that.

Lawmakers Might Address Graduation Hurdles

Students in Yvonne McDaniel's English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participated in English-language exercises during summer school at McCallum High School in Austin on July 31, 2013.
Students in Yvonne McDaniel's English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participated in English-language exercises during summer school at McCallum High School in Austin on July 31, 2013.

If roughly 47,000 high school seniors in December fail to pass the state exams required to earn a diploma, their last shot at graduating with their peers in the Class of 2015 may depend on the quick movement of state lawmakers.