Recent News Stories
The State Board of Education’s ideological struggle with the teaching of evolution in Texas classroom resurfaced late Thursday night as the board prepared to give final approval to new science textbooks. A high school biology textbook written by mega-publisher Pearson Education hit a snag because of a series of purported errors in how the book covers evolution and other related issues.
Only high school students who pursue an honors plan or a diploma specializing in math and science will have to take algebra II under recommendations that the Texas State Board of Education preliminarily approved Thursday. Despite an initial proposal that had included the advanced math course in all five new diploma plans, the 15-member board was nearly unanimous in its decision Thursday.
SBOE – State Board Allows Three Charter School Applicants, Vetoes One
The State Board of Education allowed three Generation 18 charter school applicants to begin operation in the 2014-2015 school year: Carpe Diem Schools (San Antonio), El Paso Leadership Academy, and Magnolia and Redbud Montessori for All.
SBOE – Stricter textbook reviews on horizon
Frustrated by what some members saw as a lack of transparency and accountability in its review process for instructional materials, the State Board of Education tentatively approved a set of rules Friday designed to rein in rogue reviewers.
The State Board of Education’s ideological struggle with the teaching of evolution in Texas classrooms has resurfaced as the board prepared to give final approval to new science textbooks. A high school biology textbook written by megapublisher Pearson Education hit a snag late Thursday night because of a series of purported errors in how the book covers evolution and related issues.
A candidate for Texas railroad commissioner this week unleashed a torrent of criticism on an environmental science textbook under review by the Texas Board of Education, muddling the book’s path to final approval. Becky Berger, an oil and gas geologist who is competing in the 2014 Republican primary for an open seat on the Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, said in written testimony to the board that a book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and titled Environmental Science is full of “misleading, inaccurate and partial explanations of our global environment.”
The Texas Board of Education has rejected Great Hearts Academies’ charter school application to operate in Dallas. With a 9-3 vote Friday, members reversed the state commissioner of education’s recommendation that the Arizona-based charter operator be allowed to expand into Texas. That followed lengthy debate, during which members raised questions about Great Hearts’ past student retention rates, and whether it would truly serve economically disadvantaged students as promised.
State Board of Education members adopted new high school science books Friday that include full coverage of evolution without the disclaimers sought by social conservatives and other critics of Charles Darwin’s theory. Board members approved 18 biology textbooks and e-books. They’ll be used for eight years in Texas high schools beginning in the fall of 2014. The materials were among more than 400 books adopted by the board for math, science and technology at all grade levels. Two of the books that Pearson Education offered were approved contingent on a panel of science experts’ review. Those experts will examine 20 issues that a textbook reviewer with creationist views identified as possible errors.
Literacy advocates say there’s a burgeoning market of groups that claim to be private accredited schools peddling useless high school diplomas. “For $89, they get a graduation, a photograph, a cap and gown, and a piece of worthless paper,” said Lisa Hembry, president and chief executive of Literacy Instruction for Texas. “People are told to get a job you have to have a GED. So when someone offers a quick fix, they pay it, but it’s another setback.” While some shell out up to $300, Shatandra Saulters paid $100 for her quick fix. After dropping out of high school as a freshman, she held a few jobs but figured getting ahead hinged on earning a diploma or its equivalent.
I’m pretty sure I agree with the NRA-backed notion that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Hence, I’m all for guns at schools, provided they are in the proper hands of the proper people, properly trained; specifically those entrusted with protecting children against armed assailants. Ideally, I’d like to see an armed cop on every campus. I like the protection it can afford and I like the concept of kids, especially young ones, getting to know a friendly cop. But, as evidenced in a pending request for an official opinion from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, getting guns into schools, in the right hands, has become a bit complicated. In fact, thanks to apparently conflicting laws now on the books, we have ourselves something of a gunundrum.