This is timely and informative letter from a concerned parent from Katy, Texas in regard to the new Math TEKS
Hello Texas SBOE,
I am writing to thank you for taking the time to listen, discuss, and seriously consider the concerns of parents and a student at the meeting Friday. I know you have a long schedule at each session. It is very appreciated that you take the time to have a two way conversation with the constituents that come to the SBOE with concerns. You have created a great environment for people coming before the board.
I also am grateful that you plan to take future time to discuss what to do with the math TEKS. I don’t think the SBOE or the authors of the TEKS knew how literally the schools and publishers would follow these TEKS. The schools are teaching the TEKS and only the TEKS. The breadth of the TEKs is so overwhelming there is not extra time available. We cannot assume any more is being done than the literal wording of the TEKS.
For reference I have attached the K-8 TEKS with the word FRACTION capitalized and highlighted in yellow as an example. If the TEKS say to represent adding and subtracting fractions “using objects and pictorial models that build to the number line and properties of operations” that is all that is taught. Objects and pictures are great examples to use to teach fractions, but the goal should be to add or subtract any two fractions, without drawing pictures. I am not sure the definition of “build to the number line and property of operations” but that does note seem to be interpreted by the text book providers or the teachers as actually doing math with fractions to find an answer.
Please note that conversion between improper and mixed fractions is never mentioned in the TEKS. Mastery of fractions, in my opinion, is critical for later STEM classes. Without this mastery, unit conversions and so much of math and science are much more difficult. I fear children will be turned off from the sciences because of a poor math foundation. I bring up fractions as only one easily identified example.
Please keep in mind I am not a lobbyist, and I have nothing to gain from this effort to improve the math TEKS. I see what is being done in my daughter’s math class, and I am compelled to try and make it better for her and the other children. Our ISD is attempting to strictly follow the law and the TEKS, so I understand the remedy is with the SBOE. Again, thank you for listening and acting on our concerns.
Below is a link to view the provisions.
SBOE, District 12