As students return to the school grounds for the 2021-22 school year, discussions on the state of Texas history curriculum and critical race theory continue at the state level.
According to reports from the U.S. Today Network, House Rule 3979 was signed into law after the state legislature in May, limiting teachers’ ability to discuss a variety of topics in social studies and history courses, including race and current events.
Under a draft law to be enacted next month, teachers are not required to “discuss current events or widely – and public policy or social issues.” When those topics are raised, “teachers try to investigate such issues as much as possible without giving any appreciation to anyone.”
The law also prohibits school officials, including teachers and administrators, from participating in some of the following concepts.
– “One race or gender is inherently superior to another race or gender;”
– “An individual is racially, sexually or oppressive, knowingly or unknowingly because of his or her race”
– “An individual is responsible for the actions of other members of the same race or gender in the past because of his or her race or gender;”
– “Every person should feel comfortable, guilty, anxious, or otherwise affected by race or gender;”
– “Meritocracy or hard work are racist or sexual, or they are created by members of one race to oppress members of another race.”
Amarilo Independent School District officials, as well as Canyon ISD and River Road ISD, have all told Amarillo Globe-News that teachers should teach the Texas Basic Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum from the state. Critical race theory is not part of that curriculum for social studies.
“The state tells us what to teach. The State Board of Education clearly outlines what to teach, ”said Richard Kelly, Riverside ISD Supervisor. We really don’t have the time or the energy or, of course, the desire, just enough to teach us to go beyond that. If it’s in those TEKS, we will teach it, because the state expects us to teach it. If not in those TEKS, we are not teaching. ”
Cone Racial Theory is not part of TEKS, and Cameron Rosser, Canyon ISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, said the theory is not given or encouraged in the district.
“We will continue to teach that everything we have taught in the past was part of the standard,” says Roser. We will always continue to teach. We do not teach what is not in the standards. ”
Amarillo ISD Deputy Superintendent Kevin Phillips said he has received training support from the district with some of the concerns about some of the resources used in English, language arts and social studies. Whenever a parent raised a concern, Phillips said the district would take action.
Like other school districts in the region, it is expected that Amarillo ISD teachers will teach TEKS. Phillips said the district has resources to teach certain TEKS collections.
But the final decision as to what resources to use is up to each teacher, Phillips.
“Finally, when that time comes, we will let our teachers choose the resources they will use to teach a specific TEK. If a parent is worried, we will send those parents back to the principal and their teacher on campus. ” They can, of course, reach out to us (at our district level). I’ll tell you who contacted us last month or so, we met with the campus principal and their teacher. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. Those decisions are made at the level of the teachers, and we believe that this is the right step for him to do.
In the experience, Phillips’ parents expressed concern about some aspects of the curriculum. Recently, however, that discussion has intensified. The district asked teachers to think carefully about what resources to use and to find the right way to teach Tickets.
“Perhaps (the discussions) have been very repetitive in the last six months or less, because of the very ideological and spiritual perspectives that people have on one side or another on a particular social or political issue. ), Or the current state of affairs in the world. ”
If parents have any concerns about the curriculum, Roser encourages the student to call the teacher first and visit. If concerns persist, encourage them to talk to the principal, then talk to district administrators.
“We encourage parents to start at a level that they can understand very quickly, and it’s really important to start with that teacher and have a conversation with them,” Rogers said. Talk to them and share your thoughts and feelings, build that relationship.
According to reports in the USA today, Texas lawmakers are seeking to expand House Bill 3979 by the first result in Senate Bill Three. The Texas Senate approved the bill because of a lack of a quorum.