The people of Texas were asked, “What is the most important subject?” for the K-12 school. Respondents gave many different answers and a whopping 41% said they just didn’t know. Responses ranged from conservative curriculum concerns to safety and discipline. Below we look at the top 3.
Conservative curriculum concerns 9%
A vote should be held in late 2022 on whether or not to revise the current social studies/history curriculum in Texas. However, there was backlash from conservatives, and the state board of education decided to delay voting until they could “gather more input.”
The Texas Freedom Caucus, a group of Republican lawmakers, sent a letter to the state board that said: “[They] will not hesitate to intervene during the next legislature should the need arise to protect Texas children from further indoctrination and exploitation.” Apparently the letter helped the board decide to reschedule the appointment.
In 2010, the Texas Board of Education approved the Conservative Curriculum, which is still in effect and was initiated by the far right. Two key points or problems with the curriculum are:
– The board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum and “replaced him with religious right-wing icon John Calvin.”
– The board refused to require that “students learn that the US government prevents the US government from elevating one religion above all others.”
The postponement, of course, caused anger from liberals and liberal groups; Georgina Pérez, D-El Paso, said: “The idea of kicking the can out onto the street is unacceptable.” Therefore, the conservative curriculum is the most widespread topic of the survey.
Education/teacher quality 6%
Education and/or the quality of teachers in Texas is the second most important issue according to the August 2022 survey. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been concerns that the quality of teachers in Texas has declined. Many teachers took early retirement, some checked out or “quietly quit,” and others just didn’t come back when schools reopened. However, there might be a solution.
focus on diversity
Forty-one percent of teachers in Texas are black. However, 73% of the students are not of color. According to The Education Trust, research shows that all students, regardless of race, benefit from more diverse teachers. They benefit emotionally, socially and academically from a robust and diverse faculty.
Additionally, black and Hispanic students attend schools with less able teachers than whites. Additionally, despite the challenges faced by color teachers, they are more likely to stay in the job than white teachers. Texas educators have called on the state to address this issue and asked for a seat at the table on education policy.
School shootings across the country have increased dramatically over the years. They hit an all-time high in 2021 and plummeted in 2022, despite being the second-highest year on record. Safety is an extremely important issue, especially given the recent school shooting in Uvalde; where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
New bill proposed
Last week, two Texas lawmakers proposed the Panic Button Bill. Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, introduces the law for the second time. The legislation would require Texas schools to have alarm devices with technology that immediately alert emergency responders, law enforcement and other first responders in the event of an emergency. Ms Thierry says the bill is modeled after Alyssa’s Florida law, which was named after a victim of the Parkland shooting. Thierry, who has a 10-year-old daughter, says: “Time equals life – within minutes, within seconds. All of that makes the difference between saving a life.”
Other Important K-12 Issues
- General curriculum concerns 5%
- Promotion 4%
- Teacher’s allowance 4%
- Lack of teacher recruitment/retention 4%
- testing 3%
- Politicization of schools by officials 3%
- Concerns about liberal curriculum 2%
- politicization of schools 2%
- Vouchers/choice of school 1%
- Politicization of schools by Dems 1%
- Lack of parental input 1%
- Discipline 1%
- Other 8%
- Don’t know 41%