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Which of the following is a challenge facing education policy in Texas? Let’s see, it’s the third quarter of the year, which means that new legislation is sure to hit. Next week, the state’s new textbook laws hit the shelves. The new textbooks, supposedly written by a Harvard Professor, have caused stirs among parents and educators throughout the state. Proponents of the new books claim they are more informative, and they are “researching” to provide more information to parents. Opponents warn that the new text will result in fewer books on the market, and that the quality of the textbooks is likely to decline as publishers scramble for answers to stay ahead of the law.
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The new textbooks come at a time when Texas has been in the hot seat over education reform. Last year, the state’s new textbooks were found to contain many errors, and publishers had to make millions of dollars in redoing the materials. Lawmakers have since passed a bill to create a review process for textbook approvals, and they are currently working on a new school finance bill to fund higher education. One of the biggest pieces of the education reform puzzle is the charter school bill, which is now stuck in committee. Teachers are worried about cuts to their jobs, and the proposal to raise class size limits in the public school system is causing an educational uproar.
So which of the following is a challenge facing education policy in Texas? Given the recent controversy over textbooks, it would seem that the state’s lax enforcement policies regarding teacher certification may be the biggest challenge. Of course, lax enforcement also results in a large number of un-certified teachers in the classroom. Any educator who wishes to continue teaching must abide by the new state laws, or he or she will be punished.
Now, one could ask what in the world is a “teacher” if they do not possess the necessary credentials. Texas State Board of Education member Richard Mills has a simple answer. He says, “A teacher is anyone who teaches or specializes in a subject like reading, writing, math, science, geography, psychology, or physical education.” According to the state’s educational service reform agency, all teachers in the state of Texas have met the minimum qualifications. However, some areas have even stricter requirements.
In Wharton County, just east of Dallas, one board member said recently that no one should be able to teach if they did not have a bachelor’s degree. This includes kindergarten teachers. Although board members did not provide specific examples, it appears that many superintendents and principals are either un-licensed, or they are not properly credentialed to teach at the public schools in the district.
Another area where there appears to be confusion about which of the following is a challenge facing education policy is in the matter of standardized testing. In Texas, virtually all students are tested each year in both English and Math. Many people question whether these tests are fair or whether students are being subjected to unfair stereotypes. Proponents to standardized testing say that it is necessary in order for students to succeed at the high school level. Opponents argue that it is a method used by school districts to unfairly give students an advantage over other students in the selection of schools in their area.
Even within individual states, there appears to be a wide variety of views about which of the following is a challenge facing education policy. In San Miguel County, in the northern part of Texas, the board of education does not appear to consider math as a qualifying test for graduation. Rather, the emphasis appears to be on earning a diploma through on-the-job training. No high school education is necessary to earn this credential, and there are no major consequences for teachers who refuse to participate. In Dallas County, the same policy applies, with some variations in how the certification is granted. In Texas, teachers are not required to take the exam if they do not wish to, but are required to complete a specified number of hours of training and counseling before being allowed to sit for the exam.
No matter what angle you look at, the fact remains that education policy is not static. Every year, new developments in the field of education are introduced, and old issues are updated and taught. As a result, many educational policy experts believe that the United States is experiencing a period of change in its education policies. Whichever school policy challenges you, the important thing is that you are able to find a solution to the problem; by using the resources listed above, you can make sure that you understand your state’s policy and know exactly what you need to do to ensure its continued success.
This article is provided by Honduras Educational. Thank you for reading
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