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Texas teachers prepare for mandated curriculum changes

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TWC News: Texas teachers prepare for mandated curriculum changes
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School may be out for the summer, but some teachers took their students places in the classroom. They’re preparing for big changes ahead when it comes to their curriculum.

Hundreds of educators from across the state participated in summer training hosted by the National Math and Science Initiative.

"It gives teachers a resource as far as trying to increase the rigor in their classroom," said Thomas Papa, an algebra teacher.

Papa wants that rigor to remain, and he said he’s concerned about the changes lawmakers approved this year for high school math.

Part of the Texas legislature’s education overhaul reworks course requirements to promote flexibility for college readiness or a more career-based path.

Lawmakers also reduced the number of standardized tests from 15 to five.

"With them dropping the four-by-four and going to just three units of math in high school, I think that's a detriment," Papa said.

But Kristina Vannoy, a pre-calculus teacher at Akins High School, thinks the changes will be good for the students who want to learn more.

"When there's the state test, sometimes it sets a minimum standard and so the teachers in algebra 2 and pre calc have to cut things out to get them prepared for this minimal test,” Vannoy said. “Well, without that test there, we can teach them what we need to teach them."

While teachers try new things during this summer training course, there will be plenty of teaching experiments to come when the new curriculum goes into effect.

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