At their November meeting, State Board of Education members adopted a new long-range plan for public education to establish goals through 2030.

The plan establishes an overall goal of access and equity so that all children receive what they need to learn, thrive and grow, according to an SBOE news release. This reflects a desire to have equitable access to funding, advanced courses and modern technology.

Developed after assessing the strengths, opportunities and challenges across Texas, the plan also focuses on student engagement and empowerment; family engagement and empowerment; and educator preparation, recruitment and retention as key areas that are vital to educational progress.

“The Long-Range Plan for Public Education was created as a blueprint to build on the strong base that already exists in Texas and is conceived as a vision for education by 2030. The vision and recommendations come from Texans, specifically tailored for Texas,” said board member Barbara Cargill who chaired the Long-Range Plan Steering Committee.

For more information on the plan, click here

In other action during the November meeting, the board gave unanimous approval to streamlined standards for social studies.

The revisions were part of an effort to save teachers time and provide them more flexibility in the classroom, the board said. Volunteer working groups spent more than a year looking for places to cut and tweak the curriculum. They designed a rubric to grade each figure in the kindergarten through high school social studies curriculum, scored each using these metrics and recommended those with low scores for deletion.

An initial vote on the streamlined social studies TEKS in September would have removed references to several historical figures, including Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller. But public backlash in the fall led the board to put them back in the curriculum before the final vote in November. In another controversial change, the board voted to describe slavery in the curriculum as playing a “central role” in causing the Civil War. It was previously listed as one of several causes.

For sixth grade through high school, the new standards will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2019; the standards for kindergarten through fifth grade will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2020.