Federal court ruling deals another mammoth blow to the misuse of standardized testing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Houston ISD’s use of ‘black box’ system for evaluating teachers compared to a ‘house of cards’ Decision follows another legal action nixing state rules on using test scores for teacher evaluations A Thursday ruling in the federal lawsuit filed by the Houston Federation of Teachers […]

Key Lawsuit Win on Teacher Evaluations; News on Vouchers, School Nurses and Retiree Health Care

Nurse-Staffing Notification, Community Schools, Employee Decision-Making, Accountability Bills Gain Ground:  HB 1847 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), a good bill requiring parents to be notified when their child’s school does not have a school nurse available throughout the school day, won quick, unanimous approval in the House Public Education Committee yesterday. Strong testimony by school […]

Bruising Battles at the State Capitol, and Glimmers of Hope?

Immigration Police:  The Texas Legislature took a large step this week toward turning local police into federal immigration-law enforcers, as the House passed a version of so-called “sanctuary cities” legislation very similar to the version previously passed by the Senate. The bill in question, SB 4 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), includes college and university […]

Coming Up in the Texas Legislature the Week of April 10

Now that the House has passed its own version of the state budget in place of the Senate’s in SB 1, time-honored ritual requires the Senate to reject the House effort, triggering appointment of a conference committee to iron out the differences. Though news reports have emphasized differences between the two versions that are many […]

Rollback of Simplistic A-F School Ratings Approved in House Committee

The House Public Education Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously to revise and roll back the simplistic A-F school-rating scheme enacted in 2015. The bipartisan unanimity for HB 22 bodes well for the ratings rollback in the full House. HB 22 as approved in committee delays the first use of the A-F rating system until the […]

House Bills Would Curb State Testing Excesses, Delay Rollout of A-F Ratings

A batch of bills heard in the House Public Education Committee this week would make significant strides toward reining in the outsized role of standardized state testing in school accountability. The leading bill is HB 22 by committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston), which would delay use of A-F ratings until August 2019, giving the Legislature […]

Texas House Public Education Committee Sets Priorities

The first meeting of the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday afforded some insight into the educational priorities on the House side of the Texas Capitol rotunda. Committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston) said hearings next week and the week following will focus on school finance, with the goal of passing a major rewrite on the […]

Why A-F Ratings for Schools Do Not Make the Grade

The issuance of A-F ratings for Texas schools this week was greeted with a torrent of criticism from educators. Even though the ratings were incomplete, based on last year’s data, and did not count for purposes of state accountability sanctions, the criticism was fully justified. Our counterparts at the Texas Association of School Administrators have […]

We Repeat: Tell TEA We Need a Real Turn Away from Test-and-Punish Accountability

Bear with us—we want to make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to tell the Texas Education Agency you should have real input on our state’s post-NCLB options to scale back high-stakes testing, not just an ill-designed online survey. See our message from Monday, repeated below, and note that you only have until Friday, […]