“TX Comm. of Education Morath Presents New Anti-Wokism Law”

Transcribed by Donna Garner

A group of children sitting in front of books.

Under HB 1605, “We the People” are now in charge of what our Texas public school students are taught. By this, I mean that we are the ones who elect the Texas State Board of Education members; and under HB 1605, they are now in charge of overseeing the curriculum Texas public school students are taught.

Texas legislators have finally “defanged” SB 6 which under the 2011 Texas legislators opened the door to the complete takeover of our Texas public school students by Obama’s Type #2 Common Core/social justice agenda/CRT/LGBTQ/Wokism.


On 6.22.23, Texas Commissioner of Education Morath presented to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) members and to the public the oversite of CURRICULUM required by HB 1605. This has been a long time in coming but is now in statute.

Comm. Morath’s presentation lasted for more than four hours and is public information to be found at:


I cannot possibly cover this very lengthy and informative presentation by Comm. Morath, but I am going to attempt to give some of the high points and list some of the markers (approximate time stamps) to make it easier for the public to listen and watch for themselves.



MARKER -- 1:17 -- HB 1605 gives the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education control over $324,175,680 per year for Instructional Materials (e.g., IM’s -- anything that is used to present information to students).  This SBOE oversight also includes Open Education Resources. The SBOE will decide on an approved IM list (a “good” list), and districts that adopt from the approved list (the “good” list) will be incentivized by receiving more money per student. Those districts who decide NOT to use the approved IM list will get less money per student.

The SBOE will set up decisive rubrics to determine which curriculum goes on the “good” list and which goes on the “bad” list. The lists will be made public on the Internet.

Local school districts have access to a instructional material review process, and parents can request such a review. All textbooks approved by the SBOE have to be available to parents through the internet portal.


MARKER -- 1:20 – Comm. Morath said that there are three time-sensitive issues now on the SBOE’s plate:

  1. School districts will be dependent upon the SBOE to get the Instructional Materials Review and Adoption (IMRA) process well under way before the HB 1605 “new” money is allowed to start flowing to the districts.
  1. A required vocabulary list and book list (for each grade level/course) will need to be added as an addendum to the ELAR/TEKS.

(3) The SBOE will need to set the rules for locals to allow parents to be able to review all curriculum used with their children, and the internet parental portal will need to be activated. 


MARKER -- 7:50 – Standards Based Public Education in Texas 


MARKER -- 10:01 – What Are Instructional Materials?


MARKER -- 12:39 – In 2011 SBOE oversight of instructional materials massively changed when the unwise Texas Legislature passed SB 6. [Technology vendors and lobbyists “camped out” on legislators’ desks to get passed what they wanted.]

SB 6 bill allowed textbooks to be adopted if only 50% of the TEKS (Texas’ curriculum standards) were covered; it allowed instructional materials (IM’s) not on the SBOE-approved list to be bought with state dollars; it allowed anything to do with technology to be purchased with state dollars; and there was nothing built into SB 6 that actually held school district leaders accountable for purchasing IM’s that aligned closely with the TEKS.


MARKER -- 19:46 – Comm. Morath explained that it is generally uncommon now to find school districts that follow a textbook.  SB 6 opened the door for a hodgepodge of various curriculum to come from multiple, outside sources (mostly digitized and written by people out-of-state) to be utilized in Texas classrooms. 


MARKER -- 22:34 - This shift away from textbooks has meant teachers have had to spend many hours outside class trying to pull all sorts of resources together, putting undue stress on them (as reported by the Teacher Vacancy Task Force).  They did not have this burden when textbooks were in use.


MARKER -- 25:17 – Since the implementation of SB 6, school systems have used many more instructional materials that have not been adopted through the SBOE textbook adoption process and are not closely aligned with the SBOE-adopted TEKS.


MARKER -- 25:59 – NAEP score trend lines show that since 2011 (the year SB 6 was adopted), reading and math scores have gone down across Texas. The Commissioner said there is a good deal of research to show that particularly in reading, the digital materials have been a causal factor for the downward trend.


*IMPORTANT MARKER -- 32:45 -- HB 1605 – High Quality Curriculum


MARKER -- 43:18 – Instructional Materials and Technology Account (IMTA)

HB 1605 gives about a 50% increase in funding for districts to buy textbooks which are on the SBOE-approved list. To get the “new” money under HB 1605, districts must adopt instructional materials (IM’s) that are on the SBOE-approved list.  Districts will be allowed to accumulate the money each year in an account. 

None of the “new” money will be allowed to flow to the districts until the SBOE gets various HB 1605-mandated processes started.


*IMPORTANT MARKER -- 1:01:55 -- Instructional Materials Review & Adoption Process (IMRA)

Under HB 1605, the SBOE has final authority on approvals, on the process, and on the criteria to be used – not the Texas Education Agency (TEA). 

*Notice the orange box at bottom, middle of the chart which states, “Materials must be reviewed based upon SBOE APPROVED CRITERIA.”

Under HB 1605, the TEA will be given money to pay teachers to review the IM’s.

Teacher review teams will approve, reject, or take no action on each IM.

Comm. Morath said these review teams will prepare a type of “book report” on all IM’s. TEA will give the “book report” on each IM submission to the SBOE members who will make the ultimate decision over the IM submission with that SBOE decision putting IM’s on a “good list” (approved) and a “bad list” (rejected). 

The SBOE will establish a suitability rubric, a quality rubric, the parent portal, and a way for the general public to give feedback.

HB 1605 requires that the base number is 200 reviews per year, but there is no limit to the total number that may be done.


MARKER -- 1:15:40 – New SBOE IMRA Criteria – This is a restatement of the new SBOE IMRA Authority. 

The SBOE will get to decide the percentage of coverage required in the IM’s (Instructional Materials) of the particular TEKS (curriculum standards adopted by the elected SBOE members). If the SBOE so chooses, they may vote to have that coverage be 100%. 

In other words, the SBOE now has the authority under HB 1605 to require each IM to be aligned closely with 100% (instead of 50%) of the SBOE-adopted TEKS. [Since the TEKS contain no “woke” requirements, by setting the percent at 100%, the SBOE could make sure the IM’s contain no “wokism” either.]

Comm. Morath reiterated that the SBOE always has the authority over curriculum all along the way. 

If publishers change even one word in their IM after it has been adopted by the SBOE, the SBOE is allowed to set rules to penalize that publisher. 


MARKER -- 1:43:52 – Possible Instructional Materials Timeline for SBOE


MARKER -- 1:44:10 -- HB 1605 Near Term Timeline Implications


MARKER -- 1:53-48 – This Has Always Been a Multi-Year Process


*IMPORTANT MARKER -- 2:03:18 – Key SBOE Decisions Needed Near Term – Votes To Be Taken by SBOE

The SBOE must start the Instructional Materials Review Process by April 2024 and ultimately approve IMs by November 2024 to unlock the HB 1605 dollars to start flowing to local districts.

The criteria and TEKS percentages must be set by this date. This means that the SBOE has 9 months of rule making and rule adjusting to start reviews and another 7 months to finalize related rules and initial IM approvals.


MARKER -- 1:54:12 – How Can an IM Come Off the Bad List?



MARKER -- 2:14:57 – The SBOE shall specify a list of required vocabulary at each grade/course level and a list of one required literary work to be taught at each grade/course level.

The SBOE should start developing the list by Feb. 2024. A contract will be given by the TEA to a group to develop a preliminary framework. That framework then will go back to the SBOE who will establish work groups and working group members. They will send their product back to the SBOE where many changes can be made. After many months, the final vocabulary list will be adopted by the SBOE.

The addition of the SBOE-adopted vocabulary list is an Addendum to the present ELAR/TEKS and does not require the SBOE to adopt all new ELAR/TEKS.  The words on the vocabulary list will be added to STAAR test questions by May 2029.

The SBOE will also adopt a book list for each grade/course level, and students can expect to see passages from the book list on their STAAR test questions by May 2029.

The TEA will find experts in vocabulary to begin the process; there is no cap on number of vocabulary words and no cap on literary selections.


MARKER -- 2:37:05 – Prior law, which prescribed that the TEKS for a subject area have to come up for review by the SBOE every eight years, has now been repealed.  HB 1605 gives the SBOE much more flexibility, and the SBOE can review IM’s for a subject every year regardless of whether or not the TEKS change. 

If the TEKS change and new IM’s may be needed, the SBOE can decide whether schools need new IM’s, whether the IM’s may stay in place, or whether the old IM’s may be thrown out. 

HB 1605 gives the SBOE much more flexibility in the scheduling of the TEKS and the IM’s. 


MARKER -- 2:48:48 – SBOE Action To Improve Parent Authority

Comm. Morath compared this part of the law to a “curriculum audit” with which schools are familiar.

The TEA will approve vendors who will provide the services to a local school district. 

The vendors will make the “audit” results available to the school district that will be required to post the results based on SBOE rules.

The “audit” will follow a rubric set up by the SBOE to determine grade-level rigor.  Parents will be able to see if teachers are following the required TEKS, are teaching on grade level, and whether the district is using an SBOE-approved list of curriculum.


MARKER -- 2:56:45 – HB 1605 Possible Timeline for SBOE Actions


MARKER -- 2:59:25 – How Commissioner Is Working with Staff


MARKER -- 3:03:25 – Discussion of Phonics and Three-queing System


MARKER -- 3:01:17 – Timeline for Initial IMRA Grades/Subject Areas

To begin the process of IMRA (i.e., full subject tier 1 review), the SBOE decided to start with these subjects first with other subjects to follow over time.  Now the TEA can start their part of the process to give guidance to the SBOE members:


Science K-12

Math – K-12

ELAR – K-5


ELAR – secondary

Social Studies