Jan 30, 2019 by

“Tex. Comm. of Education Morath Leading the Way to Real Change”

By Donna Garner


What I really loved as I listened to the Texas State Board of Education yesterday online was Texas Comm. of Education Mike Morath’s comments to the Board regarding the HUGE emphasis that the TEA is now placing on the SUBJECT CONTENT training of Texas public school teachers to get them ready to implement the brand new English / Language Arts / Reading curriculum standards (TEKS) this coming Fall 2019.

If you ever wondered where Comm. Morath stands on the importance of SUBJECT CONTENT KNOWLEDGE vs. the latest education fads in pedagogy, you will want to watch this brief segment from marker 20:57 through 48:07http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/tea/committee_of_the_full_board/20190129/.

Not only are Comm. Morath and the Agency focused on subject content knowledge, but they are also going to great lengths to tighten up every single question on the STAAR/End-of-Course tests so that each question is closely aligned with the new Type #1 ELAR/TEKS (traditional, academic, fact-based, grow in depth and complexity from grade level to grade level, largely tested with objective questions).

I know of no other state with Type #1 ELAR curriculum standards tied to Type #1 state-mandated tests. This makes it fair for all students. They will be tested on what they have been taught. To make sure this happens, Comm. Morath has completely reorganized the TEA.  Under his leadership, those staffers working on curriculum standards are in the very same department now as those working on the STAAR/EOC test questions.

These staffers attend the same meetings together and communicate with one another constantly. The TEKS staffers (working closely with workgroups of 200 Texas classroom teachers) are producing actual examples of student work for each ELAR/TEKS element so that teachers can see what is on-grade-level and what is below grade-level on that element. The TEKS staffers are closely communicating with those who produce the STAAR/EOC questions (lots of back-and-forth, give-and-take, questions, comments) to make sure that the testing staffers produce questions that are fair, on-grade-level, and tightly aligned with the ELAR/TEKS adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education.  

This makes real sense to me, and it proves that Texas does not need to do things “the same old way” that produces “the same old negative results.”  In a fairly brief time, I believe we will see real improvement among our Texas students in English proficiency which will bless them in every other course in school and in life.



The 2018 Annual Report spotlights areas of achievement based on the Agency’s Strategic Priorities:

  • Recruit, Support and Retain Teachers and Principals;
  • Build a Foundation of Reading and Math;
  • Connect High School to Career and College; and
  • Improve Low Performing Schools.

LINK TO THE REPORT: file:///C:/Users/DGarner/Downloads/TEA_Annual_Report_2018_final.pdf


To listen to Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath present the 2018 annual report to the public, please go to: https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Audio_and_Video/TEA_Time/Commissioner_Morath_Unveils_the_2018_Annual_Report/

To read a written transcript of Tex. Comm. Morath’s comments on the 2018 annual report, please go to: file:///C:/Users/DGarner/Downloads/TEA%20Time%20Episode%20Thirteen.pdf

Resources for the New ELAR/TEKS for Spanish and English:  https://tea.texas.gov/curriculum/rla-resources/



1.15.19 — “Glorious News for Texas: School Children Will Be Taught Phonics” – By Donna Garner – EdViews.org — http://www.educationviews.org/glorious-news-for-texas-school-children-will-be-taught-phonics/ 

12.14.18 — “Texas Has It Almost Right” – By Donna Garner – EdViews.org —

2.3.18 — “I Do Not Believe Texas Is Deliberately Keeping Students from Receiving Special Education Services” — By Donna Garner – EdViews.org — http://www.educationviews.org/not-believe-texas-deliberately-keeping-students-receiving-special-education-services/

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