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 […]

Texas AFT Fights on Two Fronts against Ill-conceived Policies on Teacher Evaluation, Files New Lawsuit against State

Texas AFT issued the following statement to the media today on the filing of a new lawsuit challenging the legality of new state administrative rules on teacher evaluation: With a 2014 lawsuit filed in federal court in Houston, Texas AFT pioneered the legal challenge to the misuse of student test scores as the basis for […]

Texas AFT fights on two fronts against teacher evaluation policies: New lawsuit filed today against state rules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2016 CONTACT: Rob D’Amico (512-627-1343) With a 2014 lawsuit filed in federal court in Houston, Texas AFT pioneered the legal challenge to the misuse of student test scores as the basis for high-stakes teacher appraisal in Texas. That case is coming to trial later this year. Meanwhile, Texas AFT is […]

Lawsuits Multiply Against Value-Added Teacher Evaluation in Texas

Scheduled for trial in September is a federal lawsuit, backed by Texas AFT and brought by our Houston Federation of Teachers affiliate, challenging the misuse of so-called “value-added methodology” in teacher evaluation.  Kindred lawsuits now have been filed by other educators in state court against a revised state appraisal policy, promulgated by the Texas Education […]

Be ready to shape new teacher evaluation systems

By Ray McMurrey Texas AFT Secretary Treasurer 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 […]

Texas AFT Comments on Proposed State-Recommended Appraisal System

For several years the Texas Education Agency has been developing a new appraisal model for teachers, with scores of districts participating voluntarily in piloting the new system. Now the agency has promulgated proposed administrative rules for implementing the appraisal model. Texas AFT took advantage of the public-comment period on the draft rules today by submitting […]