The Texas State Board of Education approved the new math standards this week. Karen North testified and influenced the board to add some references to computational thinking and algorithms to the introductions of the K-8 Math standards:
(a)(1) By embedding statistics, probability, and finance, while focusing on computational thinking, mathematical fluency and solid understanding, Texas will lead the way in mathematics education and prepare all Texas students for the challenges they will face in the 21st century.
(a)(2) Students will select appropriate tools such as real objects, manipulatives, algorithms, paper and pencil, and technology and techniques such as mental math, estimation, number sense, and generalization and abstraction to solve problems. Students will effectively communicate mathematical ideas, reasoning, and their implications using multiple representations such as symbols, diagrams, graphs, computer programs, and language.
The K-8 math standards will be implemented in Texas schools in the 2014-2015 school year while the high school standards will be implemented in 2015-2016.
In addition to finalizing the Math standards, substantial changes were made to the board’s review and adoption process of instructional materials. Many of these changes were prompted by the passage of SB 6. This law has opened up the marketplace for school districts purchasing instructional materials. They no longer have to go through the SBOE to purchase textbooks so the board made changes to the process in an attempt to encourage publishers to participate in the board’s adoption process. The changes will also make it easier for a publisher who has a digital product to make changes to their product in a timelier manner so as to take advantage of the technology.
The board also adopted the textbook Proclamation 2014, which is a call for bids for instructional materials for mathematics (K-8), science (K-12), and technology applications.