The SBOE met on November 16th to discuss instructional materials for adoption under Proclamation 2022, implementation of SB 1232, amendment to Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency Contract, and proposed amendments to TEKS. The archive of the meeting can be found here.
This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner’s Comments
- Commissioner Harrison Keller – Updating state’s higher education goals, 60×30 Texas; 4 sets of goals adopted to ensure Texas remains competitive
- Have made progress on goals, but not on track to achieve target due to pandemic; educational attainment is about 47%, by 2030 54%
- Fall 2021 enrollments up in almost every sector
- Working with stakeholders across the state to make improvements and strengthen state plan
- Coordinating board adopted architecture for new targets
- Current plan focuses on younger population, going to raise bar for attainment goals for re and upskilling for 30-60 year olds
- Will focus on credentials that are of value, including a broader range like short term credentials, work force credentials; TX will be first state to tie post-secondary goals with wage premiums
- Will be sharpening debt goals
- Will focus on research and development missions; need to acknowledge role community colleges play as well, expand federal and private sponsored research across all institutions
- Need to be more committed to expanding equity; disaggregate data by demographics and will release new dashboards to enable transparency about performance, equity, debt, wages, etc.
- Need to update goals to reflect what state needs now; need to make sure other policies align; kicking off a commission on community college finance
- Financing aid for valuable credentials, including re and upskilling; targeted financial aid for high achieving, low income students
- Concerned about number of students going to school out of state; concerned about amount of high achieving, low income students not going to post-secondary schools at all
- Will bolster career and post-secondary school advising; working to develop a new digital platform to curate advising resources
- Concern about shortage of high skill, digitally skilled employees
- Targeting funding for post-secondary institutions to implement new programs for frontline health workers, digital skills, and data analytics
- $26 million in grants for community colleges to expand workforce education abilities
- Patricia Hardy, SBOE member – Have heard criticism of students graduating from public schools in Texas
- Keller – Not productive for post-secondary schools to place blame on public schools; need closer partnerships between public schools and higher ed
- Higher ed needs to be more involved in creation of courses so there is more alignment
- Need to engage students higher in pipeline for transition into higher education to be better
- Hardy – Out of state schools want TX students; why?
- Keller – Need to do better job of preparing more students
- Hardy – Have heard that kids are getting a better deal of state financially
- Keller – Sometimes, yes; out of state schools are increasingly dependent on students willing to pay out of state prices; talking about lower income students taking scholarship offers even when it is a better deal to stay in state
- Tom Maynard, SBOE member – Are there enough certifications available and what needs to happen in terms of opening up that pipeline?
- Keller – See people cycle in and out of institutions to get certain courses without finishing program; need to be able to stack credentials
- Maynard – Way to work with people who can create best credentials?
- Keller – Yes, working to do this; need more opportunities for students to complete these during high school
- Audrey Young, SBOE member – What incentivizes public school to offer programs through dual enrollment?
- Keller – TX has polices in place to allow schools to use dual-enrolled students for attendance and funding purposes
- Decline in these cases; need to get incentives right so programs are offered so we can accelerate production of high value credentials
- Young – Concerned about TWC’s ability to fund opportunities
- Keller – Trying to streamline this process so students know what they need to get; know we have a need and there are resources available, but more traditional processes slow down students
- Matt Robinson, SBOE member – Still putting too much emphasis at high school level for kids to go to 4-year colleges?
- Keller – Need to do a lot of work to update curriculums, particularly update curriculums related to math to be relevant in the workforce
- Need to prepare many more students for academic programs and workforce professions
- Will Hickman, SBOE member – Any advice for us for high school curriculum?
- Keller – Math curriculum needs an update; striking differences according to sex, does not match profiles of classes; more about identifying and engaging students to be successful
- Prevent closing off pathways/professions and areas of studies for students
- Hickman – A lot of kids going out of state for engineering and business
- Need to expand awareness about programs that will still lead to these professions
- Need to invest strategically so there are more seats in these premiere programs
- Georgina C. Perez, SBOE member – Something we can do to make this more prevalent in everyday conversations?
- Keller – Want to bolster career and college advising and better support educators so they can provide good advice and ask harder questions of their curriculum
- Hardy – Why are community colleges down 11%?
- Keller – Unemployment spiked during pandemic, a lot of entry level jobs in service sector that have increased wages; one of potential drivers for decrease
Report from the Commissioner of Education Regarding Instructional Materials Offered for Adoption under Proclamation 2022
Lori Kuykendall, Medical Institute for Sexual Health
- Need to make sure the approved materials align with guidelines in place
Killeen Wright, Texans for Life Coalition
- Sex education has new opt-in law, consider asking publishers to move material to optional/supplemental that can be purchased by schools
- Respect the law and adopt materials through lens of what law requires
Meghan Haynesworth, RN and mother of two
- Concerned about mental health section; diagnosis language can introduce bullying to children
- Content and materials not appropriate for children, need to consider impact of Planned Parenthood and abortion-rhetoric in them
- Hardy – How many schools use another, standalone program for sex education?
- Kuykendall – Given new requirements, hoping that all of the sex education will
- Not sure exact number, up to local districts
- Hardy – Outside programs can bring in counselors and nurses?
- Kuykendall – Yes
- Wright – Schools need guidance, not aware of opt-in program
- Robinson – Textbooks go beyond guidelines?
- Kuykendall – Textbooks do a good job of utilizing TEKS guidelines; does not include anything not in TEKS
- Hickman – How do other schools create guidelines?
- Kuykendall – Use NHES, have 8 standards, NSES; conflict with rules in Texas
- Keven Ellis, SBOE chair – Talking about opposition to TEKS in reference to PRP and PREP, how do you recommend this be taught?
- Simmons – Important to use proper professionals; not written by sexual health experts; not talking about how to avoid risky behavior
- Sexual risk avoidance curriculum should tell children to avoid risky behavior altogether
- Concern with how abstinence is presented as equal to contraceptives; does not want to normalize sexual behavior among children
- Ellis – If SBOE does not adopt instructional material for health, that lead to a vacuum? Districts need some amount of material; none of it is required, just recommended
- Wright – Does not recommend rejecting all of the books
- Simmons – Challenges idea that vacuum will lead to harmful adoption of materials; school districts can already do that
- Haynesworth – Providing list written by a medical professional would give better option
- Kuykendall – Local control still in place, supersedes with SBOE selects
- Ellis – Concerned where school districts would turn if they had no recommendations?
- Kuykendall – Yes, should not leave it all to them
- Young – Explain what process of SHAC is
- Kuykendall – Clarified in HB 2025; still looking for resources, still having to use community values that are set in place; need recommendations so they know what to review
- SCAC Committee can fact check recommendations
- Rebecca Bell-Metereau – What kinds of research have you done in instances of lowering STIs and teen pregnancies? How will opt-in effect numbers and performances?
- Wright – Have improved numbers in TX over the years; feels sex education in TX is encouraging higher rates; need to move toward sexual-risk-avoidance
- Haynesworth – Opt-in is helpful, parents can give opinion in place of that
- Bell-Metereau – Default is not have sex education in schools?
- Haynesworth – Parents should have a role in this
- Perez – What is your replacement recommendation? Public expressed concern that TEKS do not encourage conversation with parents, who should the students go to?
- Simmons – Should go to parents or legal guardians, TEKS do not lead them to either
- Kuykendall – Opt-in makes sure parents/trusted adults know what is going on; want to keep this language and priority of parents and trusted adults
- Hardy – How much of this health curriculum do you envision being taught in elementary schools? Do teachers need this kind of guidance for K-5?
- Simmons – Intention of product is for students to sit down at computer for 5-10 minutes a day; too much instruction in some areas and not enough in areas
- Hardy – Can the educator fill this role? Is there a need for a test on this?
- Simmons – Could be implemented by educators; should not take that much work, what is proposed is excessive for K-5
Lauren DeWitt, Former Pharmacist
- Looked at materials for middle and high school; missing data on two of the major health issues faced by state: opioids and obesity
- Points out instances of things included that are unproven
Sam Abhead, Parent
- Wants an abstinence based approach to be taught in schools
Stacy Sass, Parent
- Concerned about diagnostic aspect of mental health surveys included in TEKS; believes they are harmful for children
- Opposes all the materials; do not want K-5 children being asked about puberty, concerned about no mention of parental authority in decision-making, concerned about diagnostic aspects in materials, wants more directive abstinence mentioned
- SBOE members ask panel about specific books referenced
Jacqueline Dedasco, Texans for Life
- Only two of the materials align with mandated guidelines; respect age appropriateness for students; the other curricula goes beyond bounds of statutes for TX
Amy Campbell, Mother
- Gives anecdotal stories about risks of not teaching abstinence in schools
Amy Urista, Mother
- All of the proposed material are not acceptable; LGBTQ advocation, links to abortion providers, female arousal, mentions of Planned Parenthood, birth control
Carla Gant, RN and Mother
- Does not want sexual behavior and sexual orientation to be taught in the classroom
- Ellis clarifies what book Urista references
- Hardy clarifies what book Campbell refers to
- Campbell – Did not reference any specific books
- Hardy – Puts parent or trusted adult in there because not every child has a parental figure
- Gant – Parent should always be first choice listed
- Hickman – Asks Campbell if she is advocating for any books
- Campbell – Would reject all of the ones proposed; would prefer Bible be taught in lieu of other resources
- Aicha Davis, SBOE member – Need to stick to this item, specific to health instructional textbooks
Shannon Jaquet, Texas Catholic Bishops
- Opposed to all instructional material proposed; nullifies parents right to opt-in
- Concerned about intrusive surveys, including gender-identity surveys
- Materials are intrusive in nature, will further harm children and not correct errors of past
- Hickman clarifies what book Seganovich was referencing
Jerry Lee Smith
- Concerned about all the subjects; concerned about references that sexual desires are hardwired in brain and implications for homosexuality
- Materials contain topics that were voted out of TEKS last year; concerned that suicide can be taught to 5th graders, concerned that materials point kids elsewhere for help
- Advocating for children who have experienced trauma; need healthy intervention to give kids a hope that they have agency to change bad patterns
- Textbooks listed today fall short, does not approach subjects in a hopeful way, fail to point kids to parents, neglect role faith plays in mental health
- Maynard – What are the parents rights issues you see?
- Spiller – Schools asking sensitive questions that should be up to parents
- Tells anecdotal story about ramifications of asking children personal questions
- Hardy – This is in all 4 of the materials?
- Spiller – More or less yes
- Hardy asks panel to clarify resources they mentioned
Tanya Brooks, Research Scientist and Mother
- Moved from California to Texas due to overreach of sex education in CA public schools
- Objects to all 4 materials proposed; concerned about graphic images related to sex for elementary students
Lindsay Moore, Mother
- Concerned that children are being taught things that are outside of what is essential in a school environment; sex education outside scope of what school should teach
- Concerned about children taking mental health surveys
- Concerned about the online health programs that evaluate mental health, concerned about introduction of self-harm
- Opposed to all of the textbooks; materials unsuitable to children and will confuse them
- Hardy clarifies what books Little referenced
- Specifically concerned about Quaver-5; strips parents’ rights from them
- Concerned about proposed material for 6th-8th graders; concerned about mention of contraception in sexual risk avoidance when abstinence is only 100% sure way to avoid risk
- Does not think it is the role of public schools to educate children about sexual relationships, sexual identity, gender roles, etc. in middle school
- Concerned specifically about human kinetics material
- Concerned that material brings up things that were previously removed from TEKS
- Ellis – How would you recommend textbook handle mention of contraceptives?
- Bacca – Prefers separation of mention of contraceptives from abstinence; inclusion dilutes definition of abstinence
- Ellis – If we do not adopt these materials, where will districts get their material?
- Bacca – TX has robust # of SRA certified members who can step up and provide what students need
- Ellis – Is there material out there that would handle rest of TEKS?
- Bacca – Worth rework for the students; need accurate and true information that provides students with optimal health
- Perez – In your SHAC, this program provider is one you are in favor of; any discussion for them to submit to SBOE?
- Bacca – Absolutely an opportunity for this
- Hardy to Ellis – Opportunity with publishers to discuss changes?
- Ellis – Cannot make amendments, publishers have until tomorrow to make changes and respond to public comment
- Jay Johnson, SBOE member – Agrees that contraceptive is not same as abstinence, should differentiate
Sarah Anderson, South Texas Pregnancy Care Center
- Concerned that the materials do not all prioritize sexual risk avoidance and abstinence
- Do not reject any of the material related to LGBTQ students; all children can benefit
- Gives data regarding harm that LGBTQ children face in schools
- Concerned about graphic nature of materials; wants board to reject all of materials
- Online nature of materials means that data will track child for their entire life
- Children need equal opportunity education; no values should be pushed onto them
- Materials are a violation of student privacy acts
- Proposed textbooks are an improvement over what is in place today
- Children need to be taught the truth; if health classes fail to teach students, children will go to internet or peers to fill in the blanks
- Parents are first and best sexuality educators, but children reluctant to ask parents
- Abstinence only education not working; 66% of high school students in TX have had sex
- Risky label for condoms is misleading due to 98% effectiveness
- Bell-Metereau – Did you look at effectiveness of abstinence-only education?
- MacDougal – Comprehensive sexual education leads to later average age of engagement in sexual activity and less risky behaviors when engaging in such activity
- Opposed to all of the proposed textbooks; they would increase screen time
- Concerns about links to Planned Parenthood
- Strengthen other TEKS and leave rest to parents and guardians
- Requests all the materials be rejected due to their lack of encouraging parent-child relationship and parental authority
- Supports comprehensive sexual education; abstinence-only approach only results in more risky behavior
- Gives data about rising STI cases
- LGBTQ students must be included in education, otherwise marginalizes an already vulnerable group
Mary Castle, Texas Values
- Books in materials that align with TEKS more so than others; Human Kinetics does not align with TEKS
- Want to delete reference of prep drugs, want parents to be mentioned as a trusted adult
- Hardy asks Castle for specific concerns in the text of the books referenced
- Ellis clarifies that textbooks cannot change arbitrarily; have to request changes
- Hardy – Would you be fine if mentions of parents were added to books
- Lowe – Would still reject them, data-mining a huge concern; would have to remove surveys
- Could do opt-in on surveys
- Hardy – Seems like if surveys are brought to court if textbooks would be called into question
- Davis – Want to compare books on topic of healthy eating; which give best information about healthy eating?
- Panelists did not look at any of the other topics in reference to the textbooks
- Lowe – Want to move away from technology, want educators to resume teaching these topics in-person
Evelyn Delgado, Healthy Futures of Texas
- Support instructional materials
- Textbooks are a guideline, does not have to be used
- Recognize that not all school districts want to include LGBTQ information in schools, but have that choice
Spotlight on Public Testimony
- Choice is a fundamental Texas value; Public schools need choice of instruction material so it should all be adopted
- Local control helps tailor success to individual communities
- Davis – Could you talk about why you want us to adopt all the textbooks so that schools can have a choice?
- Texas is big and diverse; There are options in these textbooks that teach safe sex not just abstinence, and we need to give an option to students that are going to have sex regardless
- Maynard – Whether or not a textbook is on our list or not it does not prevent the school from buying a different textbook; SB 62011
- I understand but as the SBOE, schools look to your recommendations for guidance
- Hickman – Are you testifying in favor of all 4 materials?
- Hickman – Have you reviewed the section on human kinetics
- I have not read cover to cover
- Hickman – Lesson 8.4 talks about dating from holding hands to sexual activity; do you think this is appropriate for 6-8th graders?
- There are middle school students that are sexually active; we need these resources as an option for communities that need it
- Hickman – The books also talk about dating sites; is this appropriate?
- I did not see it as an advertisement but as informative
- Hickman – There is an assignment to go research the sites; is that appropriate?
- I think it appropriate for communities that might have a plethora of students on dating websites
- Hickman – I think were talking past each other; Maynor pointed out that you can adopt whatever book your school wants; why should the SBOE approve all of them when all schools have choice?
- There needs to be choice
- Shares personal anecdote about having no LGBTQ support in Texas schools
- 43% of LGBTQ teenagers have suicidal thoughts; does not want the textbooks rejected
- Bell-Metereau – How do you think attitudes have shift since you were in schools?
- Children will seek the internet for information; these textbooks will bring about correct information that needs to be talked about in households
- In favor of all textbooks being approved so districts can tailor material; not to approve them all is censorship
- None of the textbooks provide comprehensive sex education; only one mentions abortion and it is brief
- Davis – Can you describe the context of which abortion is mentioned?
- One option in the whole text; Presented as a third option
- Presented as a temporary relief that is later followed by guilt and anger
- This is sexist and blames pregnancy on women instead of a mutual responsibility
- Ellis – Affirmative vote is to adopt proposed material and a negative vote will not place text on the adopted list
- Hickman – Our list is a default option for schools, but other options can be added?
- Hardy – The materials have to reflect our TEKS
- Motion to divide the texts individually; seconded
- Ellis – Any comments before we begin voting?
- Hardy – I will be voting as the materials stand right now; that tells me we can hear from the publishers
- Hickman – Can you explain what it will look like if we reject everything and start over with publishers?
- Ellis – There would be no first reading in September 2022 and if we wanted to alter curriculum it would already have taken effect
- Martinez – Districts would have to look for their own list of adopted material without the SBOE approved list; this also effects the science, technology and CTE TEKS
- Johnson – Can we vote in opposition tonight and change vote if publishers alter things tomorrow?
- Ellis – Yes, this is a preliminary vote; publishers have until 5pm tomorrow to make changes
- Hardy – There are probably no other publishers that would respond to another proclamation; these books are not as popular to make, and the proclamation had an unusually low response
- Maynard – Motion to approve human kinetics with required changes; motion to speak against motion
- Board members are representatives of their communities; statute does not allow the board to alter human sexuality principles because it is up to local discretion
- There is content in these textbooks that go beyond the TEKS; these books go beyond health education and sex education is not in our authority
- Hickman – If parents have not opted into sex education, can the health education be viewed alone?
- Amy – Yes, the content can be isolated
- Bell-Metereau – Can parents opt out of the health education requirement?
- Amy – Students must receive health education till 8th grade; in high school they do not
Motion fails (5,8)
- Maynor – Move that Lessonbee Inc. be approved with the corrections of proclamation 2021 and meet standards
- Hickman – I will be voting against this because it is not age appropriate; the last text and this text do not meet the abstinence requirements
Motion fails (4,8)
- Maynor – Move that QuaverEd be approved with the corrections of proclamation 2021 and meet standards
- Johnson – I agree with Maynor about representing our constituents; I am opposed to this
- Hardy – The amount of health attention given to elementary schools is very little; there will not be a huge whole, teachers will figure it out
- Davis – Is there nothing we can do to support the districts if we reject this material; some districts cannot afford to search for their own materials
- Martinez – Some districts can receive help
- Allen – Even if we do not approve these books, it has been said that 2 publishers meet 100% of the TEKS; these products are still going to be reached for if we want them to or not
- Little – A few elementary schools have expressed to me that they would like to pick their own material because the listed ones are too expensive
- Hickman – I will be voting in favor of this one and Goodheart; I does not want a vacuum and I would like to provide an option
Motion passes (7,6)
- Maynor – Move that Goodheart Wilcox be approved with the corrections of proclamation 2021 and meet standards
Motion fails (7, 7)