April 2018 Committee of the Full Board Item 2

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mexican American Studies

April 13, 2018


This item provides the opportunity for the board to take action regarding the addition of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a course in Mexican American studies. Due to the anticipated volume of testimony, oral testimony will be limited to two minutes per person.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §7.102(c)(4) and §28.002.

TEC, §7.102(c)(4), requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to establish curriculum and graduation requirements.

TEC, §28.002, identifies the subjects of the required curriculum and requires the SBOE to by rule identify the essential knowledge and skills of each subject in the required curriculum that all students should be able to demonstrate and that will be used in evaluating instructional materials and addressed on the state assessment instruments.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: In January 2014, the SBOE discussed future development of new courses that may satisfy requirements of the Foundation High School Program. At the April 2014 SBOE meeting, the board prioritized the development of a list of new courses.

In June 2017, the SBOE conducted a work session on the review and revision of the TEKS and the instructional materials adoption cycle. At that time, the board once again discussed the development of new TEKS-based courses. At the June 2017 SBOE meeting, the board approved an updated list indicating the priority in which new courses were to be developed. The SBOE also requested that the new course development list be revisited again in the coming year. A Mexican American History course was placed third on the priority list, after the development of the required instruction on interaction with peace officers (as required by Senate Bill 30, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017) and the development of new cybersecurity courses (as required by House Bill 3593, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017).

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: The 83rd Texas Legislature, 2013, passed House Bill (HB) 5, amending the TEC, §28.025, to change the high school graduation programs from the minimum, recommended, and advanced high school programs to one foundation high school program with endorsements to increase flexibility in graduation requirements for students. In August 2013, the SBOE held a work session to discuss changes to the graduation requirements in order to align with the requirements of HB 5, including discussion of courses required by HB 5. At the January 2014 meeting, the SBOE approved the final adoption of new 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter B, Graduation Requirements. At the April 2014 meeting, the SBOE prioritized the development of new courses to align with requirements of HB 5. The list of new courses to be developed included a Mexican-America Studies course.

In Spring 2015, a new Mexican-American Studies innovative course was approved by the commissioner of education for use beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. School districts and open-enrollment charter schools may offer any state-approved innovative course for elective credit with the approval of the local board of trustees.

There are currently state-approved Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for general social studies elective courses that allow educators to select specific historical, cultural, or research topics in social studies to address in greater depth. In social studies, these courses include Special Topics in Social Studies, Social Studies Research Methods, and Social Studies Advanced Studies. The SBOE called for instructional materials in Special Topics in Social Studies in Proclamation 2017, which was issued in April 2015 and amended in April 2016. The board did not adopt social studies materials submitted in response to that call. In November 2016, the board issued Proclamation 2018 calling for instructional materials covering ethnic studies to be used in the Special Topics in Social Studies course. One product was adopted as a result of this proclamation. The SBOE held a discussion regarding the development of TEKS for a Mexican American studies course at its January-February 2018 meeting.

FISCAL IMPACT: There will be normal business costs associated with this process for the agency, including staff and committee travel, meeting accommodations, solicitation of feedback, and production and dissemination of documents.


PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT: Benefits include the addition of a new TEKS-based course option for students and flexibility in meeting graduation requirements.






Staff Members Responsible:
Monica Martinez, Associate Commissioner
Standards and Support Services

Shelly Ramos, Senior Director
Curriculum Standards and Student Support

Statutory Citations (PDF, 13 KB)