A group of Texas teachers, administrators, college professors, and experts have been reviewing and revising the Technology Application TEKS since last summer. The TA TEKS for grades K-8 and thirteen high school courses were approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE) in April of this year. They postponed the decision on six high school courses until their July board meeting due to some of the testimony regarding these courses. The dissenter’s opposition centered around the claim that the TEKS for these courses were too specific and not flexible enough to react to changes within the computer science field. They specifically called for the exclusion of the teaching of “object oriented programing” (OOP).
The SBOE took additional testimony on Thursday, July 21, and then voted on Friday, July 22, to accept the revisions as written and submitted by the writing team. Districts will have a year to prepare teachers for the changes made in the TEKS so they will be ready to begin teaching the TEKS in 2012-2013. All the Technology Applications TEKS are organized around six strands: creativity and innovation; communications and collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking, problem solving and decision making; digital citizenship; and technology operations and concepts. Publishers will also use this year to prepare instructional materials that can be purchased by districts to use to teach these courses.