STAT Update: Science TEKS Review

STAT Update

STAT is thrilled to report a major success in the Texas science community, which is directly the result of efforts by STAT, the Texas Science Education Leadership Association (TSELA), and the Metroplex Area Science Supervisors (MASS). At the January 31 State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting, the board provided guidance to TEA staff and the science TEKS review work groups as they began work on recommendations to revise the science TEKS. Staff was instructed to provide the science work groups with A Framework for K-12 Science Education to be used as a resource to inform recommendations for revisions to the science TEKS.  

This is an exciting step in a positive direction. STAT would like to thank the SBOE for their support of great science teaching and learning and their willingness to engage with stakeholders who collectively brought this forward for consideration.

More than a year ago, the STAT Executive Board dedicated the resources necessary to ensure STAT would be positioned to engage effectively on behalf of our members with the Science TEKS Review process. The STAT policy consultant team has since been working to build relationships with both the SBOE and TEA staff. As a result of this yearlong effort, STAT has been established as a go-to resource for both the SBOE and TEA to provide direct feedback on behalf of our membership.

The STAT Advocacy Committee provided input to STAT and has identified a number of areas of importance in the review process. Additionally, STAT has strengthened relationships with STAT Affiliates and related science educator groups. The goal has been to identify the areas of agreement, speak with one voice, and find the best ways to contribute to the process.

One initiative important to STAT is providing current research to guide the TEKS revision. All parties agree that this can best be accomplished by accessing A Framework for K-12 Science Education as a resource in the process.

A second goal is that significant attention be given to vertical and horizontal alignment within the revised TEKS. Simultaneously, the TSELA and MASS organizations have also worked diligently to identify broad goals to bring forward to the SBOE and, as expected, there is alignment among all groups in these areas.

When SBOE met last week, one of the agenda items was an update on the review process. While STAT did not formally testify on behalf of the association at this particular stage in the process, a number of individual science educators did testify before the SBOE. STAT representatives, designated by the Board, did attend to monitor the discussion and leverage any potential opportunities. Soon after the initial meeting last Wednesday, STAT learned that SBOE was open to looking more closely at the K-12 Framework as a recommended resource—the STAT team saw an opportunity and jumped very quickly! Thursday night, the STAT team worked to advance an agreeable SBOE resolution that would direct staff to introduce the K-12 Framework as a resource. The resolution passed on Friday afternoon.

Since that time, STAT has been in direct communication with the leadership of TSELA, MASS, and various science groups around the state to celebrate this incredible outcome and discuss ways for all to continue to push for the same goals. 

There is ongoing work to be done to educate Texas science teachers on the value of the K-12 Framework resource. In the meantime, let’s celebrate our community coming together to collectively impact science education and ultimately create better outcomes for Texas students. This success is the result of a combination of things—the STAT Board’s commitment of resources to navigate the process and the collaboration between STAT, TSELA, MASS, and others to find areas of agreement to push forward.

Thanks for your trust in STAT to advocate on behalf of the Texas science community.

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