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  • 7 Oct 2022 10:09 AM | TXCSS Past President

    I’m sure you have heard this from the TXCSS leadership several times, because we believe this to be true. We can’t all take the time to visit legislators or attend State Board of Education meetings. We don’t all have the time to track all the pending legislation, but taking the time to vote is easy. Educators make a powerful difference by voting together to support public education.

    Last year TXCSS entered into a partnership with Texas Educators Vote (TEV) to join in their efforts to create a culture of voting in Texas public schools. How can you help in these efforts?

    • Participate in Educators Voting Day by voting on Thursday, October, 27
    • Publicize Educators Voting Day to your colleagues
    • Check out the resources TEV has at  https://texaseducatorsvote.com/

    One of their best resources is the “Who Does What?” guide. This concise brochure or “one-pager” details which elected officials make what decisions about public education. This resource could be used with students and parents.

    Not only is your voice your power, but our combined voices are more powerful. We look forward to seeing you at the polls on Educator Voting Day – October 27th.


  • 24 Aug 2022 11:36 AM | TXCSS Past President

    The sometimes complex and lengthy process for revising the social studies TEKS has reached a point at which many educators engage - reviewing the draft proposals. Please keep in mind that getting to these draft changes has taken a fair amount of time. In that process teachers have participated in survey sessions facilitated by the regional service centers and the TEA hosted sessions at the TXCSS conference last fall to solicit input from social studies educators. Content advisors were selected, met and made recommendations to the State Board of Education(SBOE). Work groups were selected with the appointment approval of SBOE members and those groups have met several times to produce the current drafts.

    The SBOE wants to hear from the teachers now.

    Please take the time to review the drafts for revising the social studies TEKS

    and email the SBOE with your thoughts, suggestions, concerns.

    Social Studies TEKS Review Work

    The most up to date K-8 draft is from Work Group F.

    Notable changes to the social studies TEKS include the following:

    • Introduction of a conceptual theme for K-2 to provide an overarching context for the content learned in those grades and allowing for the spiraling of this conceptual understanding to later grades. Kindergarten - Community; Grade 1-Culture, Grade 2- Migration
    • Economic, geographic, political, and cultural concepts are integrated into the historical narrative in Grades K-8, providing context for these TEKS.
    • Content related to culture, migration, and community in Texas is integrated K-2.
    • A chronological historical focus established starting at Grade 3 with the study of ancient civilizations. In Grade 4 the focus is on classical civilizations and in Grade 5 postclassical/medieval civilizations.
    • The basic tenets of five major world religions are presented in Grade 4 in the historical context of where and when these religious ideas were introduced. Sikhism is introduced in high school world history.
    • Content in Grades 3-5 focuses on the characteristics of civilizations that most relate to understanding the present, such as innovations, ideas, government systems, and economic patterns.
    • Grade 6, 7, 8 continue the chronological approach focusing on places, people, and events in North America from the 15th century through the latter 20th century. The content integrates the traditional study of Texas history with the study of U.S. History.
    • TEKS are organized into historical eras Grade 3-8 and in the high school history courses. This eliminates TEKS that would possibly cut across units in curricula.
    • Content for K-3 is significantly enhanced in order to support building background knowledge, which is supported by research about reading comprehension.
    • In Grade 7 the standards for study of The U.S. Constitution are significantly expanded from the current study, possibly because of the integration of Texas and US History in a three year study.
    • World History begins with the 13 century, allowing for more depth to be given to events in the modern age which have a more direct connection to present conditions. 
    • Significant content from Grade 6 - World Cultures has been integrated into other grade levels. 
    • The inclusion of multiple narratives is evident in the history courses. 
    TXCSS as an organization respects multiple narratives, so every teacher/member should advocate his/her position in regards to these changes. We learn more when we listen to each other. TXCSS applauds the hard work and dedication of those who have served on the work groups.

    The SBOE meets next August 30 - September 2 , so make your voice heard soon. 

  • 22 Nov 2021 9:52 AM | TXCSS President (Administrator)

    Thank you so much to our TEA partners for keeping us up to date on Social Studies related news.  

    Social Studies TEKS Review Survey

    As part of the State Board of Education’s process to review and revise the social studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is surveying educators to help inform the recommendations of the social studies TEKS review work groups. We encourage you to provide your feedback regarding the current social studies TEKS by completing the survey.

    Please note that survey will only be open for four weeks, so you are encouraged to complete the survey as soon as possible. The Social Studies TEKS Review Survey will close on December 10, 2021.

    The link to the Social Studies TEKS Review Survey is https://tea.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6PXR2JYyIHIv2jc

     TEA UPDATE FALL 2021ppt


  • 10 Nov 2021 11:57 AM | TXCSS President (Administrator)

    If you:

    - Teach a civics-related subject (i.e. social studies, government, advocacy, etc.)

    - Teach within Texas

    - Teach students 13 years or older then you are eligible to participate!

    The study will focus on how you teach and think about civics. Participation involves a 45-minute Zoom interview with the researcher.

    IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING OR GETTING MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT BRIANNA DIAZ AT DIAZBF@BC.EDU.

    or schedule an interview here

    https://calendly.com/diazbrianna/civics-interview



  • 13 Sep 2021 8:27 AM | TXCSS President (Administrator)

    Social Studies TEKS Review Work Group Application

    The State Board of Education (SBOE) will soon begin the review and revision of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for K-12 social studies. The SBOE’s TEKS review and revision process calls for multiple, separate work groups to make recommendations to the SBOE for revisions to the current standards. SBOE members nominate individuals, including educators, parents, business and industry representatives, and employers, to serve on TEKS review work groups.

    The SBOE is now accepting applications to serve on social studies TEKS review work groups. Applications received will be submitted to SBOE members for review throughout the process.

    Individuals selected will be asked to serve on one or more work groups. TEKS review work groups typically convene for two-day meetings and may include Saturdays. Additional days or meetings may be scheduled if needed. The Texas Education Agency is currently conducting TEKS review meetings virtually but is expected to return to face-to-face meetings later this year. The invitation to serve on a work group will include the format/location of the meeting.

    To access the application and for more information regarding the K-12 social studies TEKS review, please visit the Social Studies TEKS Review webpage at https://tea.texas.gov/academics/curriculum-standards/teks-review/2021-2022-social-studies-teks-review.

    Questions regarding the application or TEKS review process may be sent via email to teks@tea.texas.gov.


  • 10 Sep 2021 1:30 PM | TXCSS President (Administrator)

    As of this writing SB 3 has been sent to the governor and with his signature will replace HB 3979. The TXCSS leadership is aware that many of you have questions about how this legislation affects your classrooms. Please be cognizant that much of the confusion surrounding this legislation is related to misinformation.

    SB3 reiterates that teachers are to teach the TEKS. TXCSS has provided these guidelines on SB3 in hopes of answering some of your questions. 

  • 4 Aug 2021 7:06 PM | TXCSS (Administrator)

    HB3979 Guidelines

    These guidelines were developed by the Texas Council for the Social Studies, teachers are urged to first consult with the leadership of your district regarding the local policies and interpretations of this bill.


  • 11 May 2021 4:14 PM | TXCSS President (Administrator)

     

    Our 2021-2022 Teacher Council Application Closes Saturday, May 15th.

    Teaching civics and U.S. history are increasingly difficult tasks. Civics, like our communities, continues to change, grow, and evolve. We are looking for teachers who want to expand the impact they have beyond their own classroom and be part of the national dialogue about the future of civics and history in our country. We want these teachers to apply for our Teacher Council and we still need applications from your state to ensure our Council has a diverse and national perspective. 

    The Council meets monthly and advises the Institute on strategic initiatives by providing feedback on classroom resources and best practices in student learning as well as regional civics initiatives. They assist the Institute with monthly projects including–but not limited to–writing projects, editing projects, and resource renewal projects.

     

    Apply Today

     

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    How long is the time commitment? August 1, 2021-July 31, 2022
    What is the compensation? $150/month
    What are the requirements to serve on the Council? At least 1 year of classroom experience and a current position in a 7-12 grade social studies classroom.
    What is required for the application? A profile questionnaire, a letter of recommendation, and a writing sample.

    I hope to receive your application!

    Laura Vlk
    Senior Manager, Teacher Services
    Bill of Rights Institute


  • 1 May 2021 1:01 PM | TXCSS President (Administrator)

    Yesterday TCSS issued the press release below. Legislators want to hear from the teachers. HB3979 is up for a vote on May 4th. If passed it will likely become law - prohibiting teachers from discussions about current events or controversial topics and ending any privately funded professional development in social studies. Please take a few minutes to call your state representative.

    Find your representative here. 

     https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/4s5mRg-eEO9OgcadmN9OjoejFDxzabpMo88UMfRNAZpXCI-A_6NYu1KcLMCQ86vlNnUqccFQu6Nb0TZENciAX6NN4wRislPwjBaUKCJO6ddI4VDRDBLNaEO6CMtHsdKEorZISTNNFor immediate release: April 30, 2021

    www.txcss.org

    Renee Blackmon, President

    Inquiries: advocacy@txcss.net

    RE: SB2202/HB3979

    Civic Education? Not even close.

    As an advocate for quality civics education, the Texas Council for the Social Studies implores Texas lawmakers to resist the overreach of state power proposed in SB2202 and HB3979. These bills conflict with current social studies state standards, disregard research-based best practices, ignore the testimony of Texas teachers, and fail to achieve Governor Abbott’s charge to advance quality civics education.

    Several provisions of SB2202/HB3979 are unworkable, unrealistic, and unnecessarily punitive. First, these bills aim to exercise state power over classroom instruction by regulating and limiting the discussion of current events and controversial topics despite it being in stark opposition to the Texas social studies standards. Teachers are expected to prepare students to be informed citizens by learning skills for evaluating information as independent, critical thinkers. In order to do this, students must learn to grapple with the controversy of current events and the complexity of the past. Additionally, regardless of the deleterious impact these bills have on students as citizens, how will these restrictions on local control be enforced? Will social studies classrooms be policed? Will discussions of current events and controversial topics continue unmonitored in other subject areas?

    Second, while this legislation purports to address civic education, it prohibits schools from encouraging students to participate in the democratic process. If enacted, SB2202/HB3979 would outlaw student involvement in community projects. Past examples such as students working with the local government to erect a stop sign at a dangerous intersection or students partnering with legislators to proclaim pecan pie the state pie of Texas would no longer be possible. While science classes have labs for students to practice, the student laboratory of democratic practice takes place outside of the classroom in partnership with teachers that model the values of the local community.

    Third, this legislation serves to further marginalize social studies education with a prohibition on privately-funded professional development opportunities and resources for teachers in social studies. Our communities spend millions of dollars to equip classroom science laboratories to empower future scientists. Our schools accept millions of dollars in partnerships with big businesses to create STEM-schools. However the state has yet to match this investment towards preparing our students to be good citizens. The state has shown little commitment to providing professional development opportunities to social studies teachers, funding social studies classroom resources, or embracing any comprehensive policies to improve social studies education.

    It is time for Texas legislators to hear the voices of those most affected by this legislation. Research-based non-partisan bills promoting quality civics education languish in committees today. Policies to improve civics education must emerge from a coalition and encompass a multifaceted approach, including professional development for teachers and support for student participation in civics-related activities. SB2202/HB3979 fall far short at improving civics education. State legislators should model the expectations of good citizenship we have for our students including identifying community issues that need addressing, building a broad coalition of support, deliberating on solutions that incorporate expert research, and implementing a measurable solution. Should these bills become law, success will be measured by the volume of silence.

    The Texas Council for the Social Studies proudly represents the thousands of Texas social studies teachers and leaders who are entrusted with modeling good citizenship while passing down the story of Texas and America to a new generation. These passionate educators work tirelessly to fulfill Texas’ education mission of preparing “thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.”


  • 13 Apr 2021 11:27 AM | TXCSS Past President

    T-TRADE Assessment Development Pilot Invites Teacher Participation

    The Texas Teachers Review, Assess, Develop, and Exchange (T-TRADE) pilot is an innovative, collaborative system for teachers to develop and share high-quality assessment items. In the summer of 2021, the system will be piloted with teachers of two courses: Grade 5 mathematics and high school United States History Studies Since 1877. Participating teachers will be invited to participate in the pilot for approximately 40 hours spread over several weeks this summer.

    Benefits of the T-TRADE System

    • Collaboration: Teachers collaborate to write, review, assess, and share high-quality assessment items aligned to the TEKS
    • Professional Development CPE Credits: Teachers that participate in the pilot may earn up to 40 continuing professional education (CPE) credits that will increase their understanding, proficiency, and confidence in developing high-quality, fair, and rigorous assessment items that inform and improve instruction.
    • Professional Stipends: Qualifying teachers who participate in the T-TRADE pilot will be awarded a stipend of between $500 and $850.
    • Practical Use: T-TRADE assessment items will be made available for teachers to download and use in their local classroom assessments.
    • Expanded Use: T-TRADE assessment items that are of the highest quality will be field tested for possible use on state assessments.

    To learn more, please visit the T-TRADE web page.

    T-TRADE Applications: Applicants are encouraged to submit a TEA Committee Educator Application by April 30, 2021. A "Committee Preferences" section is at the end of the application; select "T-TRADE Assessment Items Development."

    Assessment Educator Committees

    TEA is seeking classroom teachers, instructional coaches, campus and district content specialists, and campus administrators to serve on a variety of assessment-related committees. The involvement of Texas education professionals supports TEA in designing and building the best quality assessments. TEA is accepting applications for the following teacher committees:

    • Early passage review meetings
    • Educator item review meetings
    • Essay range finding meetings
    • Subject-area advisory groups
    • STAAR redesign focus groups

    Teacher and instructional specialists or coaches for the following grades and subject areas are encouraged to apply:

    • English language arts and reading, grades 3–8 and English I-II
    • Mathematics, grades 3–8 and Algebra I
    • Science, grades 5 and 8 and Biology
    • Social studies, grade 8 and U.S. History
    • Spanish language arts and reading, grades 3–5
    • Spanish mathematics, grades 3–5
    • Spanish science, grade 5

    To apply to participate in these committees, educators should complete the Educator Committee Application Form at https://www.txetests.com/edc/.

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