Send a Message to the U.S. Education Secretary—Oppose This Cruel and Catastrophic Budget

Please join tens of thousands of AFT members who already have answered the call to speak out against the disastrous education budget proposal from the Donald Trump administration. Send your e-letter now to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging her to renounce this retrograde plan. Just look at what the Trump/DeVos budget proposes: While Trump […]

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 […]

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.”

Upholding Standards for the Teaching Profession

On a busy day in state House and Senate education committees, we want to highlight one issue in particular raised by companion bills in both chambers. SB 1278 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) and HB 2924 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) reflect the agenda of private, for-profit educator-preparation programs calling for lower standards of entry […]

The Week Ahead at the Capitol: Budget, Charter Schools, and More

The state budget takes center stage at the Capitol in Austin during the week ahead. The Senate is expected to vote March 28 on its budget bill, SB 1. This bill leaves much to be desired. It will cut higher education significantly–as much as 10 percent at some institutions of higher learning. For public schools […]

School Finance, Pension Hazard, Educator Misconduct

School Finance:  HB 21, the new school-finance bill filed by House Public Education Committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston), is drawing broad support from groups that often have been at odds over the allocation of school funding. Groups representing high-wealth and low-wealth school districts alike endorsed Huberty’s proposal for an increase of $1.6 billion in state […]

Bills to Crack Down on Educators’ Misconduct with Students Need Careful Drafting

SB 7 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and SB 653 by Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) are bills that would strengthen and expand the reach of penalties for inappropriate relationships maintained by educators and other education employees with student in Texas public schools. The bills have been inspired by recent news reports of increased incidence of […]