Feb 13, 2016 by

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a well-known and well-respected expert on English / Language Arts / Reading, sent the following message today to the English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) Review Committee. It is this committee, chosen by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education, that is supposed to be in the process of reviewing the present ELAR curriculum standards for Texas (TEKS).  


Because the SBOE members never voted on the parameters that the new set of ELAR/TEKS should follow, the ELAR/TEKS Review Committee leaders decided to take it upon themselves to “rewrite” the present ELAR/TEKS (adopted in 2008) rather than to “review” them.


The Review Committee leaders arbitrarily decided to adopt a brand new framework (i.e. strands) upon which the new document is built, and the strand names are forcing the document to be Common Core-compliant instead of following the presently used 2008 ELAR/TEKS strands that are knowledge-based, academic, specific for each grade/course level, and can be measured objectively.   


Dr. Stotsky had been asked by the SBOE to review the Nov. 2015 ELAR/TEKS draft which she did. She sent her comments/critiques two weeks before the 1.26.16 SBOE meeting. She flew all the way down to be at that meeting only to find out later on that her objections about the Common Core-compliant Draft had not been taken seriously.


As an expert in her field, Dr. Stotsky has made it very clear both in her written comments/critique and in her public testimony at the 1.26.16 SBOE meeting that the strand names must be changed to elicit content-rich elements instead of “empty Common Core standards.”


When Dr. Stotsky saw that the Review Committee leaders had made no substantive changes to the Draft after the 1.26.16 SBOE meeting and that the strands are still Common Core-compliant, she sent the following message:



From Dr. Sandra Stotsky to the ELAR/TEKS Review Committees:


Thank you for the invitation.   I would attend these meetings if I were sent in advance some vertically formatted ELA standards showing some of the changes recommended at the board hearing in January and in my written critiques.  The members of the reviewing committees should have received my comments/critique right after I mailed it in–about two weeks or so before the January hearing.   If no standards are being changed and strands changed and re-organized by the committees before February 12, it would not be a good use of my time to fly down for the day.   


I will be available all day Friday, February 12, at [I have removed Dr. Stotsky’s personal contact information] if any member of the committee would like help in rewording standards and organizing strands so that the document is not Common Core-compliant.   My e-mail [XXXX] is  available, and I can respond immediately if shown some possible changes in the order and names of organizing strands that will strengthen the reading and English curriculum in Texas schools.  


Please make my offer known to the reviewing committee members.  Thank you.  Sandra Stotsky



FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE GO TO:  2.10.16 — “Texas’ New English Curriculum Standards Spiraling out of Control” — by Donna Garner – EdViews.org


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