Lawsuit settlement ends use of value-added evaluations for Houston teachers

In another huge victory for the right of teachers to be fairly evaluated, Houston ISD agreed, in a settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by seven Houston teachers and our local union– the Houston Federation of Teachers–not to use value-added scores to terminate a teacher as long as the teacher is unable to independently test or challenge the score. The most significant […]

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 […]

Texas AFT Wins Another Major Victory Against Misuse of “Value-Added” in Teacher Appraisal

We are pleased to report another big win in the ongoing battle against the high-stakes misuse of “value-added” methodologies in teacher evaluations. Here’s our press release from earlier today announcing this major new development in federal district court in Houston: A Thursday ruling in the federal lawsuit filed by the Houston Federation of Teachers against […]

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 […]

Texas AFT reaches lawsuit settlement with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath on teacher evaluation requirements

Now, as part of a negotiated settlement to the Texas AFT lawsuit, the commissioner has agreed to strike from state rules any reference to specific measures of student performance, including so-called “value-added data based on student state assessment results.”

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 […]

A Bad Use of Teacher Evaluations by Certification Board Blocked

Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi and other teacher advocates joined forces with sensible members of the State Board for Educator Certification last week to squelch a bad legislative proposal relating to teacher evaluation last week. A committee of SBEC members came up with the notion that SBEC ought to get hold of individual teacher […]

Repetition Compulsion? Federal Educator-Prep Rules Reflect Testing Obsession

Federal bureaucrats fighting a rear-guard action in defense of their discredited obsession with standardized testing may be exhibiting the symptoms of what Sigmund Freud called a “repetition compulsion”—a  compulsion to put oneself in situations where a past trauma is likely to repeat itself. Judging educators by the standardized test results of their students is a […]

New Survey Finds Overwhelming Discontent with State Testing

An online survey on testing and accountability by State Board of Education chair Donna Bahorich drew responses last month from 27,186 Texans, and their take on the state’s current testing regime was overwhelmingly negative. The Houston Republican and her colleagues on the 15-member, elected State Board reviewed the responses today and voted to forward them […]

Be ready to shape new teacher evaluation systems

Professional educators are keenly aware that teaching requires continuing education, constant review and an official evaluation system to improve the practice. Texas teachers have witnessed an evolving teacher appraisal system over the last few decades, and they fully understand and embrace the opportunity to enhance their craft through a professional evaluation process. However, questions often […]