Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This and That about the SBOE

- Some Texas State Board of Education Members Don't Know What The Big Deal Is With Textbook Misprints.
Over the weekend, social media blew up over the misprint in a Texas social studies textbook that implies that African slaves were brought as "workers." To make matters worse, the wording in that particular section of the textbook fails to distinguish indentured workers from slaves.

McGraw-Hill Education said it “conducted a close review of the content and agree(s) that our language in that caption did not adequately convey that Africans were both forced into migration and to labor against their will as slaves.” The textbook publisher promised to change the caption's wording in their textbooks, which caused some Texas State Board of Education members to say that they didn't understand what all the hubbub was about.

- SBOE Members Question Teacher Prep Requirements.
Texas education officials took an initial step Thursday toward asking the state to reconsider raising the minimum college GPA needed for prospective educators to enter certification programs.

"A little nod ... saying 'we know you can do it, and we support you in this' would be a positive thing," said State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, who added that the change would help restore "pride and value" to teaching.
Cargill made her remarks at a Thursday morning hearing of the SBOE's Committee on School Initiatives, which recommended in a 3-2 vote to reject rules recently passed by State Board of Educator Certification, which oversees the teaching profession in the state.

- Education Board Rejects Panel to Review Textbook Errors.
Weeks after a Houston-area mother sparked an uproar over a caption in her son’s textbook that inaccurately described African slaves as “workers,” the State Board of Education tentatively approved several changes to its textbook adoption process.
However, the 15-member elected board on Wednesday narrowly rejected a proposal that would’ve given it the option of creating an expert panel for the sole purpose of identifying errors in textbooks.

- SBOE: Trustees Can't Hire Just Anyone as Superintendent.
The State Board of Education on Wednesday rejected a rule change that would have allowed school boards to hire anyone they wanted as superintendent — even if the candidate had no public education experience — as long as they had some kind of post-baccalaureate degree and intended to pursue superintendent certification. 
But the 15-member elected board still appears poised to drop a current requirement that would-be school district chiefs have classroom teaching experience. That's something representatives from several teacher groups said Wednesday was crucial to effectively running a school district.

- Outspoken Candidates Could Revive Rancor on Education Board.

Save for some flare-ups in the past few years over what to put in social studies textbooks — and how to handle an error in one of them — the State Board of Education has seen more turbulent days.
The 15-member board in charge of crafting curriculum and textbooks for the state’s more than five million public schoolchildren spent years building a national reputation as the center of raucous quarrels over how — and whether — to teach young Texans about evolution, Islam and climate change.
Now, such charged exchanges are less common. Those who closely watch the board attribute the shift to the dispersion of a cadre of fervent right-wing conservatives, many of whom either retired or were voted out.
But the relative camaraderie could soon come to an end as two more moderate members step aside — and not just among the board’s Republican membership, where nearly all the notorious infighting has occurred.

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