Educational Research Analysts
Excerpts from our June 1997 newsletter

Curriculum Rewrite

Language Arts

Texas, like most other states, is re­writing course standards for all grades and subjects. In Texas these new standards are known as Texas Essen­tial Knowledge and Skills (or TEKS).

The education establishment's pro­posed OBE-type standards are vague, "mushy" and repetitive.

For instance, the Language Arts stan­dards say the student in grades 1-3 should "compose complete sentences in written texts and use the appropriate end punctuation." In Grades 4-8 the student is expected to "use appropriate end punctuation for sentences."

This is not grade-level specific. As an increasingly mobile student popula­tion moves from school to school, students may miss concepts that teachers as­sume were already taught at a lower level or would be covered later on.

A grass roots effort by dissatisfied mem­bers of the TEKS writing team has produced alternative English Language Arts TEKS that are grade-level specific, and that emphasize phonics skills in reading. Input from a wide spectrum of teachers, curricu­lum specialists and national language experts has made this alternative document extremely comprehensive and practical.

Advocates for Texas students want the alternative English Language Arts TEKS substituted for the establish­ment ver­sion. Others want to mix oil and water and combine the two versions.

Is your state (or school) developing new English Language Arts standards? We can supply a copy of the alternative English Language Arts TEKS to help focus your state on real education. A full-text version of the alternative docu­ment and background information is located at:

Social Studies

Which is a good World History course standard?

This vague proposal?

"The student is expected to evaluate political choices and decisions that individuals, groups, and nations have made in the past, taking into account historical context, and apply this know­ledge to the analysis of choices and decisions faced by contempo­rary societies."

Or this specific alternative?

"The student should explain how the British and French response to German remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936 strengthened Hitler, and should relate concerns over appeasement to a major U.S. foreign policy decision during the Cold War."

The Social Studies curriculum is also up for revision. One of our staff served with other conservatives on the state Social Studies committee and proposed this specific alternative (and many others). Conservatives dominated this committee, but the education establish­ment persists in advocating its own vague standards. Conservatives have offered alternative versions of World History, U.S. History, and Economics TEKS.

We can send copies of these alternative curriculum standards to those involved in curriculum battles at state or local levels.

Have you heard about these?

Sommer-Time Stories
Interesting character-building stories for young readers, with colorful illustrations. (hardback)
By Carl Sommer

Advance Publishing, Inc.
6950 Fulton Street
Houston, TX 77022
America's Christian Heritage Week
Free Planning Kit to help you promote this annual Thanksgiving week nationwide event! Send $2 (for postage and printing) to:

Bruce Barilla
P.O. Box 58
Athens, WV 24712
To Pledge Allegiance: A New World in View
First volume of a U.S. history series by Gary DeMar and Fred D. Young. Gives a fresh, accurate approach to history.

American Vision
P.O. Box 220
Powder Springs, GA   30127