Friends and Colleagues:
Some of you have undoubtedly read news stories recently about changes to the Texas K-12 social studies curriculum, adopted in an effort to “streamline” teaching and focus on critical concepts. There has been a fair amount of attention paid recently to propose changes regarding the Alamo, and who will or will not be included in the revised curriculum.
This got me to thinking about how the Texas Navy might be covered in the proposed curriculum guidelines. As many of you know, the Texas Navy Association put a lot of effort over a period of years to be sure that the Texas Navy was included in the K-12 curriculum set by the Texas Board of Education. The most recent proposed changes are a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to the Texas Navy and how it may be handled in the classroom beginning in the fall of 2019.
I contacted Adm. Robin Sabo, who is Secondary Social Studies Coordinator for Clear Creek ISD and serves as Education Chairperson for the TNA. She writes:
As of the final workgroup recommendations, the Texas Navy was still in the 7th grade TEKS [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills]. The SBOE heard testimony on the standards last week and made their first reading revisions. Videos of their meetings are available at http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/tea/ . I have not yet viewed this last meeting but there were no early indications that the board would override workgroup recommendations and remove the Texan Navy reference.
We anticipate proposed “streamlined” TEKS to be available for 30 day public commentary sometime in Oct with 2nd and final vote to take place at the Nov. SBOE meeting.
The critical section as far as the Texas Navy Association is concerned are the TEKS recommendations for middle school, because Texas history is usually taught at the seventh-grade level. The proposed “streamlined” curriculum retains the Texas Navy as an essential element, but it removes Commodore Moore as a specific individual to be included. The working group struck Commodore Moore because he scored low on the formula they used to assess individuals’ importance to the curriculum, “and [because] he will be covered with the Texas Navy” as part of that unit.
As Robin mentions, there will be am opportunity for public comment on these proposed changes, probably in October. We’ll pass along information then about how to go about that. In the meantime, please take some time to look over the proposed changes (to the Texas Navy components (p. 12) and others that may be of interest) (PDF), and think on how you want to address those changes with the TBoE.