IMPORTANT: TO SBOE MEMBERS AND TEA STAFF — RE: ELAR/TEKS CHARTS TO BE PRESENTED THIS WEDNESDAY

Jan 26, 2016 by

State-Board-of-Education1

To:  Texas State Board of Education Members and Texas Education Agency Staff

From:  Donna Garner

Date:  1.25.16

Re:  English / Language Arts / Reading TEKS vs. College and Career Ready Standards

 

This week the SBOE will discuss the first draft of the ELAR/TEKS written by the ELAR/TEKS Review Committee. Along with the emphasis on ELAR/TEKS, the SBOE on Wednesday is to look at the charts developed by the TEA to satisfy the requirements in HB 1613 (passed by the 84th Legislative Session). 

 

I trust that the TEA staff has read the bill carefully and has developed the ELAR/TEKS charts correctly based upon the wording of HB 1613. (I have posted the link and excerpts from HB 1613 toward the bottom of this page.)

 

The way this bill reads is that the college readiness standards and expectations (CRSE or also referred to as the college and career readiness standards – CCRS) are to align WITH the ELAR/TEKS and not the other way around.  

 

In other words, the ELAR/TEKS have been passed by the elected members of the SBOE after lengthy public hearings and input from numerous entities.  The ELAR/TEKS represent a document that had public input and a publicly recorded vote by our elected SBOE members in a public meeting. 

 

To my knowledge, the CRSE (or college and career readiness standards – CCRS) have had no such process with public hearings, public scrutiny, and a recorded vote by our elected SBOE members.

 

The CRSE/CCRS were basically adopted by a committee of unelected (appointed) members (mostly college professors and/or college administrators) which means the public really had no chance to make their voices heard nor was a vote taken publicly by our elected members of the SBOE.

 

This may sound like a trivial point, but I assure you this is not trivial since the U. S. Department of Education has started using the term “College and Career Ready Standards” to be almost synonymous with the Common Core Standards.

 

To make this very clear, the ELAR/TEKS document is the standard to which the CRSE/CCRS document must align and not the other way around. Therefore, the charts prepared by the TEA to be presented to the full Board this Wednesday must show the base document as the presently adopted ELAR/TEKS (adopted in May 2008) with a column to the right that shows whether or not the CRSE/CCRS has met the mandate for each and every element in the ELAR/TEKS.

 

Based upon my past experience, I know that there are people who want to make everyone believe that the ELAR/TEKS and the CRSE/CCRS are two equal documents and that the public schools are mandated to teach both.  There are even some people who believe the CRSE/CCRS document is superior to the ELAR/TEKS and that the CRSE/CCRS should drive the curriculum. That is not so. They are not equal because they have not both been through the public adoption process.

 

What Texas did when writing the ELAR/TEKS was to implement the college-and-career readiness standards directly INTO the ELAR/TEKS, K – 12.  This means that if a student masters the ELAR/TEKS at each grade level, he/she will be ready to do well in college and/or a career.

 

On March 1, 2010, Achieve, Inc. came out with a report entitled “Closing the Expectations Gap 2010.”  In that document, Texas met all five of the categories to prove that our ELAR/TEKS (which were adopted in May 2008) had met all of the CCRS requirements: 

 

“Texas has the most comprehensive approach to college and career ready accountability…With the passage of HB 3 in June 2009, Texas became the only state that meets the minimum criteria Achieve believes necessary to measure and provide incentives for college and career readiness,” the report says.

 

 

Here is the link to the full report:  http://www.achieve.org/ClosingtheExpectationsGap2010

 

Here is the link to the Key Results by State:  http://www.achieve.org/files/KeyResults2010.pdf

 

=========

 

In my opinion, HB 1613 was passed by the Texas Legislature merely as an “escape route” to make it possible for a student who does not pass a rigorous STAAR End-of-Course test (with mostly objective test questions and based upon the rigorous ELAR/TEKS) to graduate anyway by taking some sort of subjectively scored assessment that is created by the Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Thus, to retain any semblance of academic standards, the two charts are needed to show that the substitute assessment is aligned with the ELAR/TEKS (but not the other around).

 

Here is the link to HB 1613 as passed by the 84th Legislative Session:  

 

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB1613

 

 

AN ACT

relating to the alignment of college readiness standards and expectations and essential knowledge and skills and the use to satisfy requirements concerning high school end-of-course assessment instruments of performance demonstrating satisfaction of certain college readiness benchmarks on certain assessment instruments designated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 28.008(d), Education Code, is amended to read as follows:

(d)  The State Board of Education shall incorporate college readiness standards and expectations approved by the commissioner of education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board under Subsection (b) into the essential knowledge and skills identified by the board under Section 28.002(c).  The State Board of Education shall develop and by rule adopt a chart that clearly indicates the alignment of the college readiness standards and expectations with the essential knowledge and skills identified by the board under Section 28.002(c).

 

Here is a link to the Enrolled Bill Summary:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/BillSummary.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB1613

House Bill 1613 amends the Education Code to require the State Board of Education (SBOE) to develop and adopt a chart that clearly indicates the alignment of the college readiness standards and expectations with the essential knowledge and skills identified by the SBOE.  In addition, the bill exempts a student enrolled in a college preparatory mathematics or English language arts course who satisfies the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) college readiness benchmarks prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on a TSI test designed by the coordinating board from the administration of the Algebra I or English I and English II end-of-course tests, as applicable, even if the student did not perform satisfactorily on a previous administration of the applicable end-of-course test. The bill specifies that a student may retake a TSI test or may take the appropriate end-of-course test if the student fails to perform satisfactorily on the TSI test.

 

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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