SB 123 in the 87th legislative session added personal skills, among a few other things, to the existing character traits (see HB 1026 86r) in TEC Chapter 29.906 also known by many as the requirement to teach SEL (Social Emotional Learning) in Texas public schools. SB 123 prompted the SBOE to remove §§120.1 and added §§120.3, 120.5, 120.7, and 120.9 as outlined on the TEA website.
Many school districts across Texas are providing character trait instruction daily via a 'Morning Meeting' or a dedicated social and emotional learning time. As academic scores continue to plummet, the question many parents continue to ask is 'why are we wasting precious time on SEL'? The answer lies at the local level. Highlighted in our recent blog, TEC 29.906 can be eliminated altogether. However, there are other points of interest worth highlighting in the Chapter 120 Character Trait TEKS.
Outlined in §§120.3, 5, 7 & 9 are the implementational instructions for the character trait TEKS for the corresponding grade levels: K-2, 2-5, 6-8, & 9-12. Each section echoes the same information regarding 1) the frequency in which instruction is provided and 2) delivery methodology. The code states that schools are only required to provide character trait instruction once in each grade ban. To be clear, Texas schools must only teach SEL curriculum one time in K-2nd, one time in grades 3-5th, one time in grades 6-8th and one time in grades 9-12th. So why are Texas public schools spending 10-30 minutes a day in K-12 on SEL? The answer is simple. It's because the school districts made a decision and nobody has questioned it.
See "Ed Spotlight: CASEL"
See "Ed Spotlight: 7 Mindsets"