School district ratings reveal continuing trend of charters underperforming traditional public schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro commented today on the release of school accountability ratings by the Texas Education Agency:   We’re pleased to see a decline in the number of districts rated as “Improvement Required,” but it’s also clear that charter schools continue to underperform […]

Governor Calls Special Session Starting July 18 With Up to 20 Wish-List Items

  Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday afternoon that he is calling the Texas Legislature back into session on July 18, first and foremost to enact what he termed a must-pass “sunset” bill continuing the existence of the state medical board, but after that to consider 19 other disparate items on his legislative wish list. A […]

State 2018-19 Budget Bill Represents a Missed Opportunity; Accountability News

The 2018-19 state budget was approved Saturday by votes of 30 to 1 in the Texas Senate and 135 to 14 in the House. It amounts to a missed opportunity to improve funding for public schools as well as other vital public services. The bill, SB 1, keeps per-pupil funding at the current level but […]

End Game: Final Decisions on Budget, Accountability, and More This Weekend

The Texas House and Senate have been busy today naming conference committees to iron out differences on important education issues while beginning a series of key votes on the state budget. Accountability and testing are the subjects of negotiations on two major House bills, HB 22 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) and HB 515 by […]

State House and Senate Differ on Changes Needed in A-F Rating System for Schools

After 2 a.m. Thursday morning the Texas Senate produced a bill tweaking but not fundamentally fixing the A-F  rating system for public schools slated for its first real use in the coming school year. The A-F grades for schools have been highly controversial in the minority of states where they have been adopted, and the […]

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 […]