Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the TEKS?

     

    The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts the state curriculum, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The SBOE has statutory authority to identify the essential knowledge and skills for the state as outlined by Texas Education Code 28.002. To view the TEKS click here. To view the upcoming cycle of revision for the TEKS click here. The TEKS provide the basis and foundation for the LISD curriculum. The SBOE member for our district is Sue Melton Malone. Please click here for her contact information.
     
    Why did the TEKS for mathematics change?
     
    In April 2012, the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved revisions for the mathematics TEKS to be fully implemented by the 2014-15 school year for grades K-8 and the 2015-16 school year for high school math courses.
The State Board of Education (SBOE) mandates the curriculum standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for all schools in Texas. The SBOE “Instructional Review” committee regularly reviews curriculum standards and makes revisions that all schools must implement. The “Instructional Review” committee is comprised of educators, parents, business and industry representatives, and employers.
For more information about the State Board of Education timeline for the revisions to the Math TEKS go to: tea.state.tx.us. 
For a breakdown of the changes by grade level go to: projectsharetexas.org.

     

    Did TEA simply shift TEKS from one grade level to another in the revision process?
     
    It’s expected with the TEKS changes that concepts be developed through the use of concrete objects and models before students are expected to apply that understanding in a problem-solving context. If a concept is moved to a lower grade level, the expectation is that at the new grade level, students explore the concept with concrete models before they are expected to apply their understanding. For example, in grade 5 students explore the multiplication and division of rational numbers with models to prepare them for the 6th grade standard that asks them to multiply and divide rational numbers fluently.
     
    In secondary mathematics, concepts continue to build in a similar manner from conceptual understandings to more abstract understandings. For example, students will build an understanding of slope in 8th grade by using similar right triangles to investigate rate of change prior to calculating the slope between two points in Algebra 1. The seven mathematical process standards have been added to all high school math courses and are identical across all grades and courses.
     
    How did LISD prepare for the changes?
     
    In 2012, our district started reviewing the elementary and middle school TEKS and began the process of writing curriculum. We use our expert math teachers to write the curriculum and there is representation on this writing team across all three zones. About four times a year, this team comes together and reviews the curriculum and may make modifications as appropriate. This same team assists in identifying resources to align with the curriculum. Our belief in leveraging our own teachers is that they are the experts and value our community’s expectations.
In the spring of 2012, our district started preparing to implement the new math TEKS by working with our math teacher leaders from each elementary and middle school. The teachers reviewed the new and old TEKS and identified connections and gaps. Also during this same year, LISD started offering professional learning for our teachers that solely focused on the new math TEKS. We’ve provided this same training each summer since 2012.
In 2012-13, LISD started its implementation of the new TEKS in Kindergarten through second grade. For grades three through middle school, the district started bridging as many of the new TEKS, where there was natural alignment. For example, some areas included operations and fractions.
In 2013-14, our elementary and middle school teachers focused on gap areas by designing lessons on specific content, such as adding and subtracting fractions in fourth grade and multiplying and dividing positive rational numbers in sixth grade. This process helped our teachers recognize the areas that could be more difficult for students. The new TEKS for elementary and middle school were fully implemented in the 2014-15 school year.
     
    In 2013, our district began a similar review of the new high school math TEKS to be implemented in the 2015-16 school year. Teacher teams from across the district reviewed the new and old TEKS and made revisions to the curriculum. In 2014-15, gap areas were analyzed and teachers began addressing these areas. LISD provided professional learning around these new TEKS during the 2014-15 school year and will continue ongoing support through the 2015-16 school year.
     
    Did the state provide resources in alignment with the TEKS revisions?
     
    Yes, the SBOE initiated an instructional materials adoption process during the 2013-14 school year for elementary and middle school and during the 2014-15 school year for high school math courses. Therefore, LISD conducted an instructional materials adoption process locally utilizing teacher committees to analyze resources and make selections of materials that would support teachers in implementing the revised TEKS in classroom instruction.
Additionally, community members were invited to review proposed new instructional materials and provide feedback. Materials were available for in-person and online preview. The online preview opportunity was made available on the district’s website.
In LISD, teachers can supplement their instruction through the use of varied resources in order to meet student needs and design engaging learning experiences. Additional/supplementary resources are utilized based on their alignment with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.

     

    Other nearby districts eliminated middle school Pre-Advanced Placement (PreAP) offerings as a result of the changes in the math TEKS, is LISD considering something similar?
     
    LISD is committed to ensuring that middle schools continue to have a strong PreAP program and students have course options to meet their needs.

     

    How will these changes impact STAAR for 3-8 and Algebra 1?
     
    The revised mathematics TEKS were adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) in April 2012. In the 2014-15 school year, the revised TEKS for K–8 were implemented and assessed on the STAAR mathematics assessments in grades 3–8. Based on the revisions to the TEKS and, subsequently, to the STAAR assessments, new performance standards for STAAR grades 3-8 mathematics will be finalized in the fall of 2015. Students who participated in the spring 2015 STAAR grades 3–8 mathematics administrations received a raw score prior to the end of the school year. Once new performance standards are approved, they will be retroactively applied to students’ test results from the spring 2015 administrations. New reports and data files will be sent to school districts in August 2015.
Due to the timing of setting new performance standards for STAAR 3–8 mathematics, Student Success Initiative (SSI) retest opportunities for STAAR mathematics for grades 5 and 8 were not offered in 2015. For the 2014–15 school year, districts used other relevant academic information to make promotion/retention decisions for mathematics. Please note that SSI was still in effect for reading in 2014–15.
Since the new performance standards for grades 3–8 mathematics were not determined prior to the release of the state accountability ratings, the 2015 state and federal accountability results will not be based on the new standards. For accountability purposes only, the state plans to establish a link between the spring 2015 STAAR grades 3–8 mathematics tests and the previous mathematics tests to determine equivalent performance standards. The 2015 state and federal accountability results will be based on student performance on the 2015 assessments at each equivalent passing standard. Use of these equivalencies will allow for the inclusion of grades 3–8 mathematics results in the accountability system, as required by statute, and will also allow the agency to meet the current deadlines specified in state law for issuing state accountability ratings.
     
    The revised STAAR Algebra 1 assessment will be implemented during the 2015-16 school year. According to Texas Education Agency, there are minimal changes to the assessment based on the revised TEKS. Because the changes to the STAAR Algebra 1 assessment are relatively minimal, the performance standards will not change in the 2015-16 school year. The mathematical process standards have been added to the TEKS for Algebra 1 and these standards will be included in the STAAR Algebra 1 assessment.
     

    How will the changes being implemented impact my high school student?

     
    The changes to the high school mathematics TEKS are less significant than those outlined in the middle school mathematics TEKS.  Along with some shifting of content, clarifications were also provided to a significant number of standards, providing more focus to the instruction.  Students entering Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus whose previous mathematics courses were guided by the old TEKS will not be negatively impacted by the changes.  Gaps have been analyzed and addressed in the curriculum for this transition, but the review of previous material that occurs at the start of every school year will play a valuable role in assuring students' needs are being met.
    Does LISD utilize the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics in the LISD math curriculum?
     
    No, LISD utilizes the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as the foundation for the LISD math curriculum. As mentioned in a previous question, the TEKS are the state standards for Texas.
The recent attorney general opinion related to the use of the common core state standards and potential overlap with the TEKS can be found at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.