SBOE Meets under New Chair This Week

The State Board of Education began two days of meetings today under Barbara Cargill, the new chair appointed by the governor. This is the first meeting of the board since the legislative session ended in June. Commissioner Robert Scott began the meeting with a report on the legislative session.  Key issues included the massive budget cuts suffered by the Texas Education Agency and the most recent layoffs at the agency. The commissioner also informed the board that an outside contractor would be assessing the needs for staffing of the Permanent School Fund in an effort to ensure effective management.

Other items on the board’s agenda included instructional materials offered for adoption under the mid-cycle 2011 proclamation, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications and supplemental science materials.

The public testimony for supplemental materials for science lasted four hours before the board adopted new supplemental science instructional materials to be used in school districts and open-enrollment charter schools beginning in school year 2011-2012. The materials include science, grades 5-8; Biology; Chemistry; Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC); and Physics. Conservative board member Ken Mercer challenged the public to show him where God or Jesus is mentioned in the TEKS, despite early testimony received by the board.

Final approval will be before the full board tomorrow.