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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another public comment period for proposed Texas science standards?

I thought that the public comment periods for the proposed Texas science standards were over, but I just received the email message below from the science department of the Texas Education Agency.

I have commented extensively on the proposed Texas science standards, but I am not going to submit any more comments, except to repeat what I am saying here. I have given up on the Texas science standards. The Texas board of education adopted some out-of-the-blue amendments that the public had no chance to comment on, and I think that's wrong.

IMO the importance of the Texas science standards has been exaggerated. Local school districts in Texas and school systems outside Texas are not required to use Texas-approved textbooks. Local school districts in Texas may use state-unapproved textbooks if the districts pay the full cost, which isn't much. A popular textbook, "Biology" by Ken Miller and Joe Levine, already comes in regular, Texas, and California editions.

Here are the out-of-the-blue amendments that the Texas board of education adopted on Jan. 22. This information is important because the TEA documents below do not show where these amendments were added.

Here is the email I got from the Texas Education Agency -- the standards of interest are in Subchapter C, High School:
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OFFICIAL COMMENT PERIOD on Proposed Science TEKS Begins


The proposed revisions to the science TEKS that were approved for first reading by the State Board of Education (SBOE) and filed with the Texas Register are available now.

Please see http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/home/sboeprop.html to view the proposed revisions.

Public comments on proposed revisions may be submitted electronically by clicking the envelope next to each proposed section. Please specify in your message the rule subchapter to which your comments apply (subchapter A is elementary, subchapter B is middle school, subchapter C is high school). You may submit comments on proposed revisions to rules@tea.state.tx.us.

Please contact the Division of Policy Coordination at (512) 475-1497 if you have any questions.

The SBOE meeting will occur on March 26-27. Information will be available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=1156


Thank you,

Irene Pickhardt
Assistant Director of Science
Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress
Austin Texas 78701
Irene.Pickhardt@tea.state.tx.us

Check out the revised TEA Science webpage at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/science/index.html

Join our informative and monthly science listserve by going to this webpage and select "science" http://miller.tea.state.tx.us/list/

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