The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has a set of standards you can read online. You can compare the national standards to the math goals in the TEKS (see below).
Texas has a state curriculum described by the "Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills" (TEKS). Parents can view the state curriculum at this Texas Education Agency web page: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
Parents can view and also download TAKS tests given in previous years. The files are in PDF format so you can print them. You can use them to help tutor your children by giving them old tests and coaching them on their weaknesses because you can also download the answer keys. The files can be big, so you need a DSL or broadband connection to access these files.
If you are curious about the tests or you have doubts about the tests, you should look at the tests yourself. I have heard parents say things about the test that are untrue, and I am sure some critics of the test have not looked at the test.
When is the TAKS Test?
Click here for the TAKS testing schedule. Watch out! The reading and writing tests in grades 3, 4, and 5 happen earlier than you might expect.
It is important for parents to be able to read the state laws related to education. Parents concerned about their child's safety can learn of a principal's responsibilties by reading the state laws and insisting the principal fulfill his or her responsibilities. The link now is to Texas Statutes. In the drop box for "Code", look for the Education Code, then negotiate down to the chapter and section you want.
Here is a link to a paper by Patrick Suppes on The Aims of Education. The community and the schools must be committed to the same aims of education for the educational experience of the children to be fully successful. Reading the paper by Suppes helps one appreciate the difficulty of establishing goals for education by selecting from a wealth of worthy ideals to a narrow range of ideals to implement.
The Dallas Morning News had an interesting article in the January 7, 2008 issue: "Public School in Virtual Privacy" by Karen Ayres Smith. The article was about the Texas Virtual Academy. It is a charter school, but online. This allows permits home schooling while getting the support of a charter school.
Links on Community Building
Good schools depend upon good families and good communities.