The Texas Education Agency’s “Texas Resource Review” (TRR), formerly known as the Instructional Materials Quality Review (IMQR), has received a great deal of criticism, and rightfully so. Here’s why:
Here is some critical information that taxpayers should know:
5. More Stars = Better Quality. The issue then becomes the definition of quality. A textbook that received a high score (or more stars) is considered “high-quality.” However, Texas students have a wide range of needs. For example, a Dual Language academy may not find textbooks that do not support Language Learners or Biliteracy as high quality. Will the Board of Trustees at your ISD purchase books and technology which are best for their community? Or will they purchase what TEA says is good stuff?
6. The Law. “The commissioner by rule shall establish the procedure by which a publisher may submit instructional materials for inclusion in the web portal.”
see: Texas Education Code Sec. 31.081 https://texas.public.law/statutes/tex._educ._code_section_31.081
The web portal is the TRR (or the IMQE). The intent behind the law was to have a review of Open Educational Resources (OERs), which are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes.
However, the ambiguity in the statute and the lack of oversight of TEA has resulted in this:
"At the request of a single member of the Texas State Board of Education or 10% of ISD’s, a publisher must submit their materials to the Quality Review."
Please note that in no place in Texas statute does a single member of an elected body have this kind of power. Many of the TXSBOE Members stood against this TEA Rule. However, Commissioner Morath has the final say.
The Texas State Board of Education nor the Texas Education Agency determines the best method to teach. Equally, neither should the TEA or the TXSBOE rank or score textbooks and technology.
It seems that TEA is placing itself on a path to accomplish what C-Scope could not.