ICYMI The Texas Education Agency announced Great Minds as the creator of PhD Science TEKS Edition for Texas home learning for Grades K–5. This follows the agency’s selection of Great Minds to create Eureka Math in Sync TEKS Edition for Grades K–5. The TEA news release is below. Great Minds contact: Chad Colby, Chad.Colby@greatminds.org, 202-297-9437.
TEA Announces Additional Innovative Learning Solutions for K-12 English and Spanish, and K-5 Science to Support Schools Across Texas
Mon, 10/05/2020 - 10:32
AUSTIN, Texas – October 5, 2020 – The Texas Education Agency today announced the next set of instructional materials – covering K-12 English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR), K-5 Spanish Language Arts and Reading (SLAR), and K-5 Science – that will be made available to school systems through the Texas Home Learning 3.0 (THL 3.0) initiative. Like other THL 3.0 offerings, these instructional materials are optional, digitized, customized for Texas, and aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)—the state standards for what students should know and be able to do.
TEA has partnered with Amplify for K-8 ELAR and K-5 SLAR, Odell Education for 9-12 ELAR, and Great Minds for K-5 Science to develop and deliver this next set of high-quality resources including TEKS-aligned unit and lesson plans. Additional materials will be released on a continuous basis. Before release, all THL 3.0 instructional materials undergo a rigorous review that includes Texas teacher feedback to confirm alignment with TEKS and quality standards. Additional THL 3.0 instructional materials for other subjects and grade levels will be announced over the coming weeks.
“As the pandemic continues to disrupt public education across our state, TEA is committed to supporting schools with effective distance learning resources,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.
Amplify’s K-5 Texas Elementary Literacy Program for ELAR and SLAR and 6-8 Amplify ELAR Texas are TEKS-aligned language arts curriculum designed to support Texas learners in the classroom, at home, or wherever learning takes place. Built on the science of teaching reading, the K-5 Amplify Texas Elementary Literacy Program combines foundational skills with content knowledge—so that learning to read and reading to learn develop together. The 6-8 Amplify ELAR Texas program is a TEKS-aligned, blended language arts curriculum that places text at the center of every lesson. Designed specifically for Texas middle schools, this flexible program supports digital, print, and hybrid classrooms.
“We are thrilled to partner with TEA to provide Texas teachers and students with the highest quality reading and language arts programs that align to TEKS standards,” said Larry Berger, chief executive officer of Amplify. “Amplify’s flexible core and supplemental materials will support Texas educators and students whether learning is happening at home, in school, or some of each.”
Odell Education’s Texas High School Literacy Program, which covers 9-12 ELAR, is an innovative program created specifically for Texas high school students and educators. It is designed to support seamless learning in a variety of contexts. The program empowers teachers and students through dynamic activities centered on rich texts and topics as they develop TEKS-aligned literacy skills, habits, and knowledge.
“We are thrilled to partner with Texas educators to develop an exciting new literacy program for the high school students in Texas,” says Odell Education CEO Judson Odell. “Thanks to the tremendous commitment of the Texas Education Agency, Texas high schoolers will have a flexible program for this year and beyond that fosters the literacy they need to thrive wherever their path may lead them.”
Great Minds’ K-5 PhD Science TEKS Edition is a phenomenon-based program in which teachers facilitate the learning, but students own it. In every module, students explore authentic phenomena to build an enduring understanding of core science concepts through hands-on investigations and evidence-based learning. And now it is being adapted to align with the TEKS and, in partnership with TEA through its Texas Home Learning initiative, will be available as an open education resource for all schools and districts in the state.
"Science education should start early, and it should be comprehensive,” says Pam Goodner, Great Minds Chief Academic Officer for Science. “Texas recognizes that students need coherent instruction that builds knowledge from lesson to lesson to develop deep scientific understanding. PhD Science TEKS Edition will deliver what the state is seeking to help students act as scientists to observe, model, investigate, and understand the world around them.”
THL 3.0 is a comprehensive initiative to support school systems, teachers, parents, and students during the public health crisis and beyond with high-quality instructional materials, technology solutions, and professional development resources. TEA previously announced that it will offer all Texas school systems a world-class Learning Management System (LMS) from PowerSchool’s Schoology for two years at no cost. Nearly 400 Texas school systems have already signed up, with another 200 currently engaging with the Schoology team.
For more information on Texas Home Learning 3.0, please click here.
Chad brings more than 23 years of experience in communications to Great Minds. He has served in three state education agencies, which included time assisting New Mexico’s secretary of education with the adoption of new education reform initiatives; serving as the communications director at the Washington, D.C., Office of the State Superintendent of Education; and working as an assistant to the Florida Commissioner of Education. Chad also worked at the U.S. Department of Education from 2004 to 2009 and served as the deputy assistant secretary for media affairs and strategic communication during his final two years there. Chad is a native of Bloomington, Ill., and graduated from Florida State University.