Texas State Board of Education members have been beating their chests about an Education Week study that gives the state an “A” in curriculum development. At last month’s state board meeting, for example, they used the study to trash critics who have (correctly) warned about the damage the board’s far-right faction has done the last two years to language arts and science curriculum standards and, this year, to social studies standards. The state’s education commissioner even joined board members in crowing.
Well, the commissioner and board members either didn’t understand what the study really said or they deliberately distorted its findings. As Tony Whitson explains on his always-informative curricublog, the study didn’t look at the substance of the standards themselves. The study simply gave the state high marks for having course- and grade-specific standards as well as supplementary resources for teachers and particular student populations. The actual quality of the standards? You won’t find that analyzed in the study.
Of course, that fact won’t stop the board’s far-right members from dishonestly defending their efforts to politicize our kids’ classrooms and promote fringe agendas in public school curriculum standards. They just don’t let the truth get in their way.
UPDATE: A study last year gave science curriculum standards in Texas an “F” for their treatment of evolution — a concept that forms the foundation for the study of the biological sciences. Read more about the study here.