Almost 200 teachers are taking part in HISD’s curriculum rewrite. Their goal is to make the curriculum match the state of Texas’ new standards. Carol Bedard is HISD’s Director of Literacy.
"What our curriculum writers are doing is saying, ‘ok let’s look at the standards and then let’s find resources that we can use in instructional lessons to make sure that the standard is taught, and then how are we going to access that the what we are teaching has met the requirements."
She says the new curriculum will make students think more than they’re used to.
"You’re having to analyze, take things apart. It’s no longer just a simple matter of listing things. The answer is not in the text. You have to infer it."
She uses the teaching of the Civil War as an example. She says students will no longer be able to simply memorize the who, what, when and where of the war. The new curriculum will make them probe deeper.
"How did the Civil War impact the economy? How did it impact you know maybe population movement in the south or in the north? You know so they’re asking questions in which you have to use much higher thinking."
Bedard says the new curriculum isn’t just to prepare students for the state’s standardized tests, but to also make them better prepared for college entrance exams.