What a waste of time and money.
At its meeting Thursday, the 15-member board is expected to scrap a curriculum revision process dominated by teachers and the Texas Education Agency and discuss a new timetable for revising the English reading and writing standards.Many on the board want to replace a student-centered curriculum that calls on students to use their own attitudes and ethics to interpret texts with teacher-centered instruction that emphasizes the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
A lot of time and money was spent establishing the original curriculum and now they want to spend more so that it can be more “teacher-centered?”
“Texas standards are not grade-level specific, most of them are noise. They can’t be measured and are just a bunch of fuzzy words,” McLeroy said.
Kind of like the evidence you give here for why the standards need changing. Oh wait, here’s an example!
One criticism voiced at the session is that the TEKS are too student-centered, often asking students to use their attitudes, behaviors and ethics to interpret texts. For example, students in fourth through eighth grades are expected to “describe mental images that text descriptions evoke” and “compare text events with his or her own or other readers’ experiences.”McLeroy calls such standards “fuzzy English” and wants to expunge them from the state’s curriculum. He said such standards can’t be measured on state tests.
What about this standard for high school English? It can’t be measured?
(3) Writing/grammar/usage/conventions/spelling. The student relies increasingly on the conventions and mechanics of written English, including the rules of grammar and usage, to write clearly and effectively. The student is expected to:
(A) produce legible work that shows accurate spelling and correct use of the conventions of punctuation and capitalization such as italics and ellipses;
(B) demonstrate control over grammatical elements such as subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, verb forms, and parallelism;
(C) compose increasingly more involved sentences that contain gerunds, participles, and infinitives in their various functions; and
(D) produce error-free writing in the final draft.
And maybe the use of multi-grade standards has to do with recognition that things take more than one grade to learn? Or maybe that not all kids learn everything the same way the same year?
(4) Listening/speaking/communication. The student communicates clearly by putting thoughts and feelings into spoken words. The student is expected to:
(A) use vocabulary to describe clearly ideas, feelings, and experiences (K-3);
(B) clarify and support spoken messages using appropriate props such as objects, pictures, or charts (K-3); and
(C) retell a spoken message by summarizing or clarifying (K-3).
(5) Reading/word identification. The student uses a variety of word identification strategies. The student is expected to:
(A) decode by using all letter-sound correspondences within a word (1-3);
(B) blend initial letter – sounds with common vowel spelling patterns to read words (1-3);
(C) recognize high frequency irregular words such as said, was, where, and is (1-2);
(D) identify multisyllabic words by using common syllable patterns (1-3);
(E) use structural cues to recognize words such as compound, base words, and inflections such as -s, -es, -ed, and -ing (1-2);
(F) use structural cues such as prefixes and suffixes to recognize words, for example, un- and -ly (2);
(G) use knowledge of word order (syntax) and context to support word identification and confirm word meaning (1-3); and
(H) read both regular and irregular words automatically such as through multiple opportunities to read and reread (1-3).
It isn’t like these standards haven’t been reviewed by education experts (for what it’s worth.)
Board member Terri Leo, R-Spring, said at last month’s work session that she’s worried students aren’t reading enough classic literature.
You mean Texas educators aren’t qualified to determine what is enough classical literature and if the students are reading enough of it?