Breaking News: Texas SBOE supports Ethnic Studies
- Native American Studies
- Latino Studies
- African American Studies
- Asian Pacific Islander Studies
The State Board of Education today voted to take steps to approve Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for an ethnic studies course focused on Americans of Mexican descent and to use a course originated by the Houston Independent School District as the basis for the standards.
This action will lead to the development of the first state standards for a high-school level ethnic studies course in Texas.
The specific standards will be presented for a preliminary vote at the board’s next meeting in June, with final approval expected in September. The course now called Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent would become available for use in Texas classrooms in the 2019-2020 school year.
“There is no doubt that the SBOE supports enabling our students to see themselves more clearly as a vital part of our unfolding American story,” said SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich.
The board agreed to create a Mexican American Studies class in 2014 and placed of it in a queue for new course development. Most of the new courses placed ahead it, such as courses on cybersecurity and proper interaction with police officers, were mandated by the Texas Legislature.
Some school districts and charters are already teaching a Mexican American Studies course using an approved innovative course submitted by Houston ISD. This course, with only the course title changed by the SBOE, will be the starting point for the state course. Other educators teach a similar class under broader state course titles such as Special Topics in Social Studies or Independent Study in English.
But teachers who testified Wednesday told the board that they have had to piece together the curriculum for these courses. Having state-approved TEKS will make it easier for teachers to teach the course and to share materials, they said.
The board also instructed Texas Education Agency staff to bring to the board for consideration any future comprehensive ethnic studies courses in Native-American Studies, Latino Studies, African-American Studies or Asian-Pacific Islander Studies that have been approved through the commissioner of education’s innovative course process.
Apparently there are some folks in Texas that don’t feel like this is a victory because of the name of the course and/or other semantics. Shame on them. But, there is still more work to do to get the other courses through the SBOE since they only approved a “fast-track.”
This has been long time in coming. See also TESTIMONY SUBMITTED TO TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
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Shame on the board for paternalistically naming US “Americans of Mexican Descent.” In any case, our community won this battle today as you can see from my blog post: http://texasedequity.blogspot.com/2018/06/historic-victory-texas-state-board-of.html
Another correction to the narrative is that the true champion on the Texas SBOE here is Ruben Cortez who spearheaded this battle from the very beginning.
As far as many, if not most, of us are concerned, SBOE Member Georgina Perez, messed up mightily by accepting the Bradley amendment at the April 11th meeting to give us that awful name that tracks back to Jim Crow, segregation, and an era where we were not allowed to have our identity as Mexican Americans—an era much too painful for us to let this stick.
Here is my specific reflection on the day that this hugely offensive amendment got through:
Now on to bigger and better things.
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Maybe they are the only state to see value in that. It should be extracurricular and the course studies should be reading, writing, and arithmetic first. Lol