State Board of Education gives final approval to upgraded high school graduation plans ...
complete article can be read at the following URL:
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/press/4x4final.pdf

November 17, 2006....Under the additional math requirements, all the courses available for the fourth math credit except Mathematical Models with Applications have Algebra II as a prerequisite. Those classes are Precalculus; Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics; AP Calculus AB; AP Calculus BC; AP Computer Science; Independent Study in Mathematics; International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematical Studies Subsidiary Level; IB Mathematical Methods Subsidiary Level; IB1, 2 Mathematics Higher Level; IB Advanced Mathematics Subsidiary Level; and concurrent enrollment in college math courses. The board stipulated that, if selected, Mathematical Models with Applications must be taken prior to Algebra II.

The first three math credits must be earned in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry. Students may continue to earn high school credit in middle school. Thousands of Texas students take Algebra I and foreign languages for high school credit while still in middle school or junior high...

Letter from the President -- November 20, 2006

I am honored to be president of such a wonderful group of individuals. The effort that has been shown in convincing the State Board of Education to approve Computer Science as a mathematics credit has been intense. I want to personally thank each of you that has contacted members of the technology industry, school boards, state representatives, the legislature and in particular, the SBOE. Since July, there has been a significant shift in their attitude towards CS. This is a great plus for students in Texas and will help keep the Computer Science Curriculum strong.

The Computer Science Teachers Association has provided a great deal of support for this effort. Their website has some very good material for Computer Science Teachers. Check out the website at the following URL: http://www.csta.acm.org/ .

Finally, I want to thank Karen North for her tireless efforts, her tenacity, and determination. I would also like to thank our principal, Paul Castro. He has supported this effort throughout this semester. I know that Westside will benefit from the SBOE decision.

Please take a few minutes and e-mail the SBOE at sboesupport@tea.state.tx.us to thank them for their thoughtful consideration in allowing Computer Science to count as one of the required mathematics/science courses mandated by HB1. This one address will send your voice to all SBOE members.

Sincerely,
Susan Boone, TA/CS SIG President 2006/2007
sboone@houstonisd.org 281-920-8000 ext. 6028

Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements

Letter from the President -- November 15, 2006

As president of the Texas Computer Educators Association Technology Applications/Computer Science Special Interest Group (SIG), I want to thank the State Board for their work to improve the math/science education in high schools.

The TCEA TA/CS Special Interest Group group is a relatively small grass roots organization (with full time jobs). When I first testified in July, I honestly thought that the small group of us was providing a much needed solution to a very real problem of providing more math courses and teachers in an area that already has significant teacher shortages. I have been a strong advocate of Math, Science, Engineering and Technology for the last fifteen years. Getting and keeping kids interested in STEM courses is often challenging. There is so much data that supports the fact that these subject areas are all critical for the future and competitiveness of the United States.

I have had little success in getting the community to actually write letters, (at least I am not aware of many), but I have talked to many people. My husband is an engineer and I work closely with several other Math/Science groups. The vast majority of the citizens from whom I have heard think it is a good idea to have Computer Science count towards the math credit. I would also like to see it count as a science. The reasoning behind that is I have personal exposure to the science credits that DO count as well as the Computer Science courses that we are trying to have considered. There is plenty of actual scientific study in a CS course and the CS course itself if by far more rigorous than some other options. I am not currently teaching CS, but would invite any of the SBOE members to Westside High School (Houston Independent School District) to observe the Computer Science courses here and talk to the students. They are a great group of kids. The Algebra 2 requirement to ensure rigor is well-intentioned; however, students now have the option to start the 2-3 sequence of Computer Science courses earlier. Not requiring the Algebra 2 pre-requisite does not necessarily mean the students don’t take Algebra 2. If students are concurrently enrolled in Algebra 2, the SBOE should consider allowing CS to count as a math course.

I am writing mostly from my heart. I have been surprised with the reaction of the SBOE over this issue. So much documentation has been provided to the board and the material suggests such a critical need to have Computer Scientists in the work force. Testimony has been given by credible University Professors about the rigor of the program. Students in high school need the early exposure to be introduced the field so they will have a background to make wise decisions at the college level. Statistics show that the first year CS courses at the college level have an incredibly high attrition rate. High School students NEED this exposure in high school to build future success.

If you get this message before your discussion over the courses that should count towards the 4th year math/science, thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this issue. The Houston Chronicle had an article stressing the importance of the legislative decision on the FIRST page of today’s paper (above the fold). If you have questions regarding the CS curriculum feel free to email me and I can provide any additional data you feel is needed to help make your decision.

Sincerely,
Susan Boone, TA/CS SIG President 2006/2007
sboone@houstonisd.org 281-920-8000 ext. 6028

This document has been created to keep interested parties informed of the State Board of Education's stand on allowing Computer Science to count as a fourth year math/science credit. The second vote on the amendment will be Wednesday, November 15.

Summary of proposed changes

Amendment Submitted by TA/CS sig in July '06

Updates:

Please take a few minutes and e-mail the SBOE at sboesupport@tea.state.tx.us. This one address will send your voice to all SBOE members. Your thoughts and reasons may be exactly what they need to hear to change their vote. The SBOE meets again on November 16th, so don’t delay

UPDATE -- November 2006

Karen North
Vice President, Texas Computer Education Association
Technology Application – Computer Science Special Interest Group
November 15, 2006

The TCEA TACS-SIG Computer Science teachers would like to respectfully request that you consider the addition of AP CS I and AP CS II as a choice for a 4th year rigorous math course. This recommendation was approved overwhelming by our membership. ...complete testimony

UPDATE -- October 2006

9. Consideration of Petitions for Adoption of Rule Changes Concerning19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008

The board denied two citizen petitions to amend 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008, filed by Ms. Karen North. One petition requested adding computer science as an option for the fourth year of mathematics and the second petition requested adding computer science for the fourth year of science. Statutory authority for this action is Texas Government Code, §2001.021; 19 TAC§30.1; and Texas Education Code (TEC), §§7.102(c)(4), 28.002, and 28.025(a).
Staff Contact: Questions about this item should be directed to the Division of Curriculum at (512) 463-9581.


The state wants the course to have Algebra II as a pre-requisite. Those who testified explained to the SBOE that AP CS has that and more. Mike Scott from the University of Texas explained that he teaches the same thing as UT, and they require pre-calculus. If your district has the requirement of algebra II written into the course selection guide, please make a copy and mail to all SBOE members. Susan Smith from Katy said they have these written guidelines.

Shirley Neely, TEA employee and education commissioner went by the TEKS which lists algebra I. We explained that is a minimum standard. The TEKS also say that schools can follow the TEKS or AP or IB curriculum. We also noted that engineering was approved as a science course and they do not even have TEKS yet. This is an expensive course for districts to implement. We explained that CS is free and already in place.

We also added the concern that the majority of CS teachers are certified in math. The demand for CS will go down because of a lack of room in student’s schedules. This will result in CS teachers being moved to math classrooms. So, unless you plan to retire soon and want to keep teaching CS, letters really need to be written. Also, we need to get business to send letters too.

You can also call your local senator and representative that you vote for. My representative Beverly Wooley sent letters and has called TEA. She also asked what help we have received from TEA in our initiative. I feel like not only have we received no help, they are fighting us. And, I just do not understand why.

You can find out who to write at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/board/index.html

Karen North
Westside High School, Houston ISD
www.knorth.info

Please consider submitting a letter to YOUR SBOE representative.
Link to find YOUR SBOE representative

Testimony Summary before the State Board of Education: September '06

Mark Stehlik
Teaching Professor and Assistant Dean,
School of Computer Science,
Carnegie Mellon University
former Chief Reader, AP Computer Science

I am delighted to have the opportunity to address this honorable Board on a matter of such importance. As a dean and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the country’s leading Computer Science programs, and as someone who has worked closely with AP Computer Science teachers from across the country (many from Texas), I applaud your consideration of this petition.....(view complete testimony)

Karen North

Texas Computer Education Association, VP and Past-President TACS-SIG -

Technology Application / Computer Science Special Interest Group Westside High School , Houston ISD - Master Technology Teacher CIS, mathematics, business and technology education certification

COMPUTER SCIENCE IS RIGOROUS

Computer Science is the only rigorous technology course with two Advanced Placement tests. Computer Science enrollment has been declining, even though the number of students in Texas has increased, CS has decreased by 20% from 1997-2004; Web Mastering has increased by 500%. Approving CS as a math/science course would help to ensure it's survival in many schools/districts. The prerequisite of Algebra II can be required by school districts to meet the SBOE definition of a rigorous math course. .
(view complete testimony)

Charmaine C. Bentley
- Texas Computer Education Association’s Technology Application / Computer Science
Special Interest Group (TCEA TA/CS SIG) Secretary / Treasurer.
- Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Board director.
- Texas State Certification
       CIS (Computer Science), Master Technology Teacher, Secondary        Mathematics,
       Composite Science, Technology Applications – K-12, English / Language        Arts

...TEKS for every high school science subject includes the description “student
uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decision”. Is this
significantly different from the problem solving described in the computer science TEKS?
The association with mathematics is more evident. Programming requires a fundamental understanding of functions and their characteristics and PreCalculus TEKS specifically mention the use of technology to represent, model, analyze, and solve meaningful problems (19 Chapter 111. Subchapter C. P.3, P.4). (This computer science connection with preCalculus concepts makes it a more rigorous subject than Mathematical Models with Applications (111.36) which was at one time considered a viable option for fourth year mathematics.) In the Communications of the ACM (March 2006 / Vol. 49, No. 3), Jeannette M. Wing (head of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University) described the “computational thinking” required of computer scientists as a “universally applicable attitude and skill set [that] everyone, not just computer scientists, would be eager to learn and use.” It is my hope that this will be the view demonstrated by this Board as it enables Texas to continue to lead the nation in educational standards by adopting the rules for adding computer science as an option for the fourth year credit in science or math for both the recommended and distinguished achievement high school graduation plans.
(...see full testimony)

Judith Hromcik

  • AP Computer Science teacher at Arlington High School in Arlington, Texas.
  • member of the AP Computer Science Development Committee from 2001 to 2005,
  • Reader and is currently a Question Leader at the AP Computer Science exam reading.
My other colleagues will speak to about why computer science should count as a fourth science or fourth mathematics course.  My goal today is to tell you why computer science is a rigorous course that requires reasoning beyond an Algebra II level and how our courses correlate to the AP Computer Science curriculum.(...see full testimony)

Michael D. Scott
University of Texas at Austin, Computer Science Department
September 14, 2006

I am not a lobbyist registered with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Testimony on Agenda Item 8 of the Committee of the Whole. Consideration of Petitions for Adoption of Rule Changes Concerning 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008.


When I spoke to this board in July, I tried to explain how Computer Science is a science and not a technology application. [Briefly, the essence of Computer Science is problem solving and computation. Computer Science is not just learning how to use a tool and it is not just learning how to program. Computer Science is not just the study of technology. Computer Science involves teaching people how to approach and solve problems in a logical manner.]

Instead of having another computer scientist argue this point, I would like to bring you attention to a report called Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. This report was commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine (Available for free download at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11463.html.) and the initial version was released in February of this year. I have included the executive summary and some other relevant examples for you with the copies of my remarks.(...see full testimony)

Testimony Summary before the State Board of Education: July '06

8. Consideration of Petitions for Adoption of Rule Changes Concerning 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008

link: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/schedule/0906/whole14.html

Two petitions to amend 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter F, Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2007-2008, have been received from Ms. Karen North. One petition requests adding computer science as an option for the fourth year of mathematics and the second petition requests adding computer science for the fourth year of science. This item provides the opportunity for the State Board of Education (SBOE) to consider the petitions. Statutory Authority for this action is Texas Government Code, §2001.021; 19 TAC §30.1; and Texas Education Code (TEC), §§7.102(c)(4), 28.002, and 28.025(a).

Several of the TA/CS sig members presented testimony in favor of including Computer Science as one of the mandated science or math courses that has been mandated for the recommended and distinguished h.s.diploma for the state of Texas. I have included these testimonies, a response from the District 6 SBOE member Terri Leo, and a link to find YOUR SBOE representative so you can consider a CALL TO ACTION. I think that all would benefit from as much education as could possibly be provided to convince the SBOE members that Computer Science is a rigorous course that adheres to the TEKS that satisfy an upper level math or science course. Please consider writing your representative to share your thoughts on this subject.

Susan Boone
President, TA/CS sig, 2006-2007

 

Some of the Submitted Letters :

Texas Computer Education Association
Technology Application/Computer Science Special Interest Group (TA/CS sig)
Susan Boone; President
Mathematics and Web Mastering Teacher, Westside High School, H.I.S.D. with H.S. Biology Certification
July 6, 2006

I am here to address the Board this morning to express my support for the addition of Computer Science as one of the math or science choices to satisfy the fourth year requirement mandated by the legislature in the spring of 2006. Research by computer science educators demonstrates that learning computer science provides direct benefits to students.....(view complete testimony)

July 6, 2006
Karen North

Texas Computer Education Association, VP and Past-President TACS-SIG -

Technology Application / Computer Science Special Interest Group Westside High School , Houston ISD - Master Technology Teacher CIS, mathematics, business and technology education certification

A great inequity exits in computer science education for the children of Texas . To close that gap, the computer science teachers of Texas are proposing that the science of algebraic computation be counted as one of the 4 th year graduation requirements for math and science. I present ideas from the CS teachers of Texas and the nation along with the CSTA report on the state of Computer Science education, “The New Educational Imperative: Improving High School CS Education.” This explains why CS is a rigorous science and math course...(view complete testimony)


July 6, 2006
Michael D. Scott

University of Texas at Austin , Computer Science Department

I am not a lobbyist registered with the Texas Ethics Commission. Testimony on 19 TAC Chapter 74 Section 74.61.i.1.B, Courses as an option for the fourth credit of high school science under the recommended graduation program.

Good morning. Ladies and gentleman of the state board of education, thank you for this opportunity to speak. My name is Michael Scott and I am a lecturer from the Computer Science Department at University of Texas at Austin , Computer Science Department. I have taught computer science classes at UT for six years and prior to that, I taught advanced placement computer science at Round Rock High School for two years...(view complete testimony).

Response from Terri Leo

From: TerriSLeo@aol.com [mailto:TerriSLeo@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 12:14 PM
To: knorth@wt.net
Subject: Re: CS as a Math / Science credit - Next Step?

I can't speak for the SBOE, but by indications of the testimony and comments I think the SBOE is leaning toward the legislature's recommendations of an Algebra II prerequisite for math. I am leaning that way.

As far as science, it looks like a lab component was strongly favored, with Biology, Physics and Chemistry being prerequisite.

The Distinguished Plan is to ensure rigor for those attending a post-secondary institution. You will need to show that your TEKS are of that caliber. So far, I don't think that has been shown to the SBOE. But that is only my opinion.

Terri


Changes to Subchapter F

HB 1 requires four years of mathematics and science in the recommended and distinguished high school programs, beginning with students entering Grade 9 in school year 2007-2008. Proposed amendments to 19 TAC §74.63 and §74.64 would incorporate the mandated fourth year of mathematics and science. The removal of provisional language regarding the fourth year of science in 19 TAC §74.61 would correspond with this proposal. Sections 74.63 and 74.64 would also be amended to add engineering as an option for the fourth year of science in subsection (b)(3)(B), as approved for first reading in April 2006.

In addition, proposed amendments to Subchapter F would match amendments to Subchapters D and E as appropriate. These include changes to:

  • clarify the languages other than English requirement in subsection (b)(6) in §74.63 and §74.64;
  • replace the term "tech prep articulated" with the correct term "advanced technical credit" in subsection (d)(3) in §74.64; and
  • clarify requirements to satisfy the technology applications credit in subsection (b)(10)(D) in §74.63 and §74.64.

A board member has requested that consideration be given for further amendments to Subchapter F, including removal of graduation requirements such as Communication Applications and Foundations of Personal Fitness, to adjust for new graduation requirements outlined in HB 1.

Return to the TA/CS sig website: http://www.tcea.org/SIGs/tacssig/default.asp

Link to District Representatives: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/board/index.html