Currently there are several pieces of legislation moving through the Texas House and Senate that could have a significant impact on K-12 civic education in Texas. These include
· S.B. 2026, introduced by Chairman of the Senate Education Committee Republican Senator Larry Taylor (R- District 11), and its House sister bill H.B. 4509, introduced by Representative Greg Bonnen (R-District 24)
· H.B. 3211, introduced by Republican Representative Keith Bell (R- District 4), and
· S.B. 1740, introduced by Democratic Senator Judith Zaffirini (D- District 21).
H.B. 3211 and S.B. 1740 were both drafted by the Texas Civic Education Coalition, which is comprised of educators, educator associations (including the Texas Council for the Social Studies), policymakers, and civic education providers from across the State of Texas. This group is non-partisan and advocates for a holistic approach to civic education reform in the state.
The Texas Civic Education Coalition is urging support of these bills. If you are interested in expressing your support you may sign their letter by 9 am CT on Wednesday, April 7.
Letter calling for a comprehensive, bipartisan civic education package by 9 am CT on Wednesday, April 7.
A public hearing on civic education legislation will occur on Thursday, April 8 in the Senate. If you’d like to express your position on these pieces of legislation directly, please contact your local members of the State House and Senate. You may also send your letter directly to the Senate Education Committee by emailing: Beth.Shields_SC@Senate.Texas.Gov.
For more information about following social studies related legislation this 87th session
Here is the latest update from TEA.
I hope you have been energized by the turning of the calendar and like most of us I’m sure the new year brings anticipation and questions. Be assured that as a community of learners and leaders TCSS stands committed to advancing social studies education. Our theme for 2021 is Engage in the Experience.
As a community of social studies educators our engagement with each other enhances our practices and our lives, so too does engaging in TCSS. I encourage you to consider the many avenues to Engage in the Experience offered by TCSS. Have you thought about submitting a lesson or article to the Texan? How about presenting at the Fall Conference or volunteering at the conference? Maybe you're ready to run for a leadership position?
Most of us look forward to engaging with each other at the Fall Conference and 2021 is sure to be quite an experience. Mark your calendars for November 12-14 to Engage in the Experience at the new Khalari Resort in Round Rock. The annual conference offers TCSS members professional learning from the best of the best, our colleagues and state social studies leaders.
As an all volunteer organization, TCSS is dependent on our leaders who have dedicated themselves to making a difference. The TCSS Executive Committee and At-Large board members have already been meeting, as have some of our TCSS committees. These groups are already exploring ways to expand opportunities for Engaging in the Experience. I cannot thank these members enough, as the success of TCSS comes from their hard work.
I also want to thank all of you in the TCSS community. Your commitment to students and your colleagues through this most challenging time has been phenomenal. TCSS is here for you and here because of you, committed to advancing social studies education.
TCSS President 2021
I hope this finds you well.
As you may know, TEA is developing Texas Home Learning (THL), an optional set of resources for Texas educators including instructional materials, aligned professional learning, and technology supports during this new learning environment.
Before being released, THL Instructional Materials undergo a rigorous review process that includes input from Texas Educators. This review process helps ensure that released materials are of the highest quality, meet state standards, and meet the expectations and needs of all our districts.
The THL team at TEA has reached out to us to ask for our help in nominating folks to participate in this process. In particular, TEA is looking for individuals with expertise in K-5 Social Studies, though they welcome anyone with experience with Social Studies instructional materials in Texas. Through a series of focus groups, participants in this review process will help define what the final materials include in order to support all Texas teachers and students, as well as the implementation support and training publishers and TEA will provide through THL. The TEA THL team has worked to streamline this process as much as possible given the time constraints educators are currently under. Nominees are encouraged, but will not be required, to participate in every focus group over the course of the year, which would include 1-2 one hour sessions per month.
Please take 1 minute to think about educators you know who may be a good fit as a focus group participant and nominate them using this form! You may also use the same form to sign up yourself.
This is a great opportunity to #engageintheexperience. Thanks in advance for your leadership.
Educating for Democracy Act of 2020
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Educating for Democracy Act of 2020, S.4928, November 30th. This is a measure to significantly increase federal level investment in civic and history education. This is the Senate companion bill to the U.S. House version of the Educating for Democracy Act that was introduced on September 17th by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK).
This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation would authorize $1 billion in federal investment in civic and history education, including research, innovation, and teacher professional development, and would require the National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEPs) in civic and history education to be conducted every two years at grades 4, 8 and 12, with state level results made publicly available. The full bill summary is available here.
The measure establishes new grant programs for state and local education agencies to strengthen and improve their approach to civic and history education. The bill provides funding for non-profit entities to develop or expand access to evidence-based curricula, instructional models, and other educational programs to enhance student knowledge and achievement in civics and history. Grants would be provided to higher education institutions to assist in developing and implementing programs to train elementary and secondary school teachers in methods for instructing and engaging students in civics and history.
If you are in support of this measure, consider reaching out to your legislators.
NCSS offers Social Studies Virtual Conference First-Timer Scholarships.
Any first-timer to an NCSS Conference may apply and they also have a
donor who wants to sponsor scholarships for social studies teachers of
color who want to attend.
For an application go to--
NCSS Virtual 2020 registration includes the content of three national conferences (NCSS, NCGE, AGA) available until April 30, 2021 as on demand. Most sessions and speakers are scheduled Sat Dec. 5th and Sun Dec 6th. See https://www.socialstudies.org/conference for more details. Spread the word.
TEA Social Studies Update
View the presentation
Download the update from TEA
(c-8) Beginning with the 2022 2023 school year, an assessment instrument developed under Subsection (a) or (c) may not present more than 75 percent of the questions in a multiple choice format.
It is almost here -- #TXCSS2020 Power of Community Oct 1-3 virtual conference. There is still time to register and the great news is you can register for three conferences in one process -- TSSSA, TCSS, and TAGE.
If you have already registered -- look for an email, coming soon to the email address noted in your registration, for the link to the conference microsite and unique access credentials. This email and credentials are for all conference events Oct 1-3 that you registered for. Note that the microsite will not be "live" until 12:00 AM Oct 1st, so you will get a message the event is not available if you try to log in before Oct 1st. For previews of sessions and speakers, navigate over to https://txcss.net/tcssconference.
Thank you to the numerous sponsors, presenters, officers and volunteers whose efforts made this event possible. It is amazing to watch the Power of Community focus on quality social studies education, and our teachers, students, and communities will reap the benefits.
September 29, 2020
Silver Spring, MD -- The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Board of Directors recently approved NCSS to sign on to a statement authored by the American Historical Association (AHA) and supported by over three dozen additional organizations condemning the recent “White House Conference on American History,” deploring the tendentious use of history and history education to stoke politically motivated culture wars.
The AHA is a nonprofit organization founded for the promotion of historical studies, which provides leadership for the discipline by protecting academic freedom, developing professional standards, supporting scholarship and innovative teaching, and helping to sustain and enhance the work of historians.
Both NCSS and the AHA strongly encourage you to share the statement with your networks.
Read the Statement
Email Calendar Drive