The fellows spend the summer working on implementation strategies and content at different levels of the process but these fellows focused on 3 specific areas: ELA/ELAR, Bilingual Educator Recruitment Pipeline, and House Bill 5.
The first presenters were two young women, one with 3 years of classroom experience and one with 6 years, who were both products of Fort Worth ISD education. So proud.
The benefactors of these fellows were DISD Board of Trustees representative Miguel Solis and State Board of Education Member Erika Beltran, both of whom I've gotten to know very well and appreciate here in Dallas.
Despite only being able to stay for part of the event, I was moved and engaged right away. The presentation on ELAR was admittedly data heavy, but it was extremely engaging and interactive. The crowd, made up of a mix of community members and experienced educators, was excited to take a look at, and criticize the TEKS used to govern ELA/ELAR in our schools.
Big takeaways were things that those of us who are teachers already know. The Texas students are below the national average in terms of achievement on nationally monitored tests, and the TEKS are overly complicated without adequate support for mastering / implementing them in a practical classroom setting.
What was the interesting part of the event? Getting to see Trustee Solis and SBOE Member Erika Beltran get back to their teacher roots and see the TEKS from the perspective of a classroom teacher. The common concern was that they are too complex and not formatted in a way that's conducive to teachers successfully communicating the "necessary" lessons to their students.