Published by the Texas Faculty Collaborative for Social Studies, this report provides numerous clear recommendations for addressing two daunting challenges facing K-16 history educators in the state of Texas--dozens of overlapping educational standards and a crisis in K-12 college preparation. Bridging the Gap seeks to correlate the most important and relevant standards while at the same time offering recommendations designed to help teachers prepare students for college.
The release of the report created a small firestorm in the media, claiming state and national headlines during the same week in November 2011 that Americans voted in the general election, Rick Perry said "oops" in a Republican primary debate, Penn State fired Joe Paterno, and Herman Cain and Justin Bieber responded to critical allegations. After a liberal political activist organization wrote a press release that tacitly distorted the nature of the report, the story spread like wildfire through liberal media outlets until it escalated into a "damning," "slamming," and "ripping" attack by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry. Thankfully, more sensible journalists soon waded in as well.
- “Erekson's work points out some key flaws in the curriculum framework, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)” – Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, November 15, 2011
- “To remedy the standards and curriculum, Erekson offers a series of recommendations, including analytical thinking through making connections, evaluating historical arguments, engaging in modern debates and drawing global comparisons, pointing to and utilizing primary sources as well as even directly challenging the TEKS by pointing out their controversies and omissions.” – The Huffington Post, November 11, 2011
- “The recommendations in the report aren't magic bullets, but given the real cost of political meddling in instructing Texas students, they can't be overlooked or ignored by state political and business leaders.” – Austin American-Statesman, November 9, 2011
- “The report includes a long list of recommendations for teachers to consider in teaching U.S. history to their students. Those recommendations correct or supplement the curriculum standards adopted by the [state] board [of education] last year after heated debate that saw the panel split on numerous issues.” – Education Week, November 8, 2011
Citation: Keith A. Erekson, Bridging the Gap between K-12 and College Readiness Standards in Texas: Recommendations for U.S. History (Arlington: Texas Faculty Collaborative for Social Studies, 2011).