SBOE gives preliminary approval to Fine Arts TEKS

AUSTIN – Revised curriculum standards for all fine arts instruction for kindergarten through 12th grade received preliminary approval from the State Board of Education today. The curriculum standards outline the topics to be covered in art, music, dance and theater classes.

The current standards, called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), have been in use in the state’s classrooms since 1998.  Final approval of the revised standards is expected to occur at the board’s April 19 meeting. The updated standards will be used in classrooms beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

The proposed revisions create standards for dance instruction in the middle schools. Currently, dance standards only exist at the high school level. The middle school TEKS, with these updates, will also now be based on a student’s proficiency level, rather than grade level. For example, if a student took private violin lessons throughout elementary school, this change would allow the child to be placed in a more advanced middle school orchestra class, rather than in a beginning class. The proposal also increases the number of fine arts classes available at the high school level.

The TEKS given preliminary approval will be posted on the Texas Education Agency website at once they are updated to reflect amendments made by the board this week. The standards now on that web page reflect the draft proposed by TEKS review committees. That proposal was largely accepted by the board with only a few tweaks.

This week’s board meeting was the first meeting of the board since all 15 members were elected in November, following a redrawing of boundary lines.  During the first meeting after redistricting and an election, the board members must draw for terms of office, elect officers and be assigned to committees.

The board elected Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, as vice chair and Mavis Knight, D-Dallas, as secretary. The chair of the board, Barbara Cargill, is appointed to that post by the governor.  The three officers then made the following committee assignments:

Committee on Instruction

Tom Maynard, Chair
Sue Melton, Vice Chair
Martha M. Dominguez
Geraldine Miller
Marisa B. Perez

Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund

Patricia Hardy, Chair
Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., Vice Chair
David Bradley
Ken Mercer
Thomas Ratliff

Committee on School Initiatives

Donna Bahorich, Chair
Marty Rowley, Vice Chair
Barbara Cargill
Ruben Cortez, Jr.
Mavis B. Knight

Once committees were appointed, the members of each committee elected a chair and the chair appointed a vice chair.

After a redistricting year, state law mandates that eight members receive four-year terms of office and seven members receive two-year terms. In subsequent elections, all will run for four year terms.

Those members who received four-year terms, which will run from Jan. 1, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2017,  are:  Bahorich, Cargill, Dominguez, Maynard, Melton, Mercer, Ratliff and Rowley.

Those members who received two-year terms, which run from Jan. 1, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2015, are:  Allen, Bradley, Cortez, Hardy, Knight, Miller, and Perez.

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