The Texas Education Agency and schools and districts throughout the state are committed to ensuring that Texas’ students are the best and brightest in the nation. The goal is that Texas is among the top ten states for graduation college-and career-ready students by the 2019-2020 school year. To this end, the state of Texas recently developed a new model of assessment to ensure student preparation for college and careers upon graduating from high school. This comprehensive program of assessment, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), works to align curriculum and performance standards from elementary and middle school through high school graduation. This charge, coupled with a focus on feedback-driven assessments, means that students are not just prepared for state tests, but are prepared for postsecondary opportunities and to compete in an increasingly competitive global setting. Students are expected to meet readiness standards throughout their progression through elementary, middle and high school, which achieve a level of depth and rigor previously unmet. As an applicant for teacher certification in Texas, you are expected to hold students to these same high standards.
TEXAS ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS (TEKS)
One way to ensure that teachers have high expectations of students is to ensure that teachers are using rigorous standards in their planning and practice. The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, known as TEKS, are the state standards for Texas education from kindergarten to grade 12. The standards were broadly revised and implemented in order to ensure the broad incorporation of technology into K-8 courses.
In order to be an effective teacher in the state of Texas, it is imperative that participants deeply understand and internalize the TEKS for and surrounding their content and grade-level. These standards should be used as a guidepost for what students should know and learn throughout their time in the participant’s classroom and school. As participants familiarized themselves with the standards in their grade-level and content area, they will gain a more robust understanding of how best to instruct and grow their students.
Please consult the TEKS, along with additional resources, on the TEA website. (Binders of the TEKS are also provided to participants during Summer Institute A orientation.)