The State Board of Education (SBOE) met on January 30 to take up a full agenda. A majority of the meeting was spent on the second reading and final adoption of proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 67 regarding the Instructional Materials for Review (IMRA) process. The following three agenda items focused on IMRA rubrics, the approval process, and the suitability rubric. The final items on the agenda were considered technical or routine measures, and as a result discussion on those items was shorter.
For agenda item 1, SBOE members discussed the process for reviewing instructional materials contracts and requirements for publishers to maintain parent access web portals. Amendments offered by staff included 1) replacing “interoperability” language with a requirement that publisher-hosted portals have single sign on capability with an ISD’s LMS and 2) allowing publishers not in compliance with portal access requirements to come into compliance within 60 days. Members discussed potential conflicts in SBOE’s authority to review materials, ultimately unanimously adopting an amendment by Maynard clarifying that TEA would recommend removal of noncompliant materials to SBOE instead of TEA removing those materials directly. The Board also adopted an amendment by Hickman restating that publishers must host an access portal allowing parents to review instructional materials. The rules proposal as amended by SBOE and staff was adopted (12-1) with an accelerated effective date of 20 days after publishing in the Texas Register.
Item #2 The SBOE discussed the IMRA rubric. The executive summary report will include 1) the overall score by grade level, 2) a rubric scoring section, and 3) a strengths, challenges, and summary narrative explanations by grade level for each product reviewed. The Board adopted the IMRA rubric (10-1).
Item #3 The finalizing of the rubric means next steps can proceed which include submissions from publishers. This agenda item included discussion on the process including how staff will prioritize if the submissions exceed 200 materials. Staff noted the entire process for standards alignment takes about 3 weeks; reviewers will then work through the quality rubric which will take about 2 ½ months. Both review processes include ability for suitability concerns to be submitted. The SBOE adopted the process unanimously with several amendments, including 1) the addition of a market analysis provided to SBOE, 2) requiring the review be based on the most recently revised TEKS and 3) requiring TEA to present an after-action review on IMRA rubrics, selection of instructional materials, reviewer selection, and reviews.
Item #4 regarding the suitability rubric was discussed heavily by the SBOE. The SBOE then moved to create a green flag and red flag system to allow for a positive and negative feedback opportunity, respectively. Amendments included language “promoting American patriotism, Texas history, and the free enterprise system, understanding the importance of patriotism and democratic principals of our state and national heritage, including founding documents of the United States. Another amendment was adopted to change a title from sexual health to sexual risk avoidance. Finally, the Board adopted an amendment replacing the flag for child pornography with any pornography and updating 7.1 regarding digital and computer generated images that are harmful with the words “to students.” This agenda item was approved as amended 14-1.
Item #5 The Board discussed and adopted continuing Chapter 66 related to previous proclamations and adoption cycles.
Item #6 A final discussion on the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 74 which aligns previous board discussion from ½ credit to now having 1 full credit per course, aligning language to programs of study, removing outdated coherence sequence language, and a technical change to CTE courses to update titles and career clusters.