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 […]

TEA portal designed to give parents and educators tools for STAAR results, but Texas AFT president reminds us to look at the bigger picture

The Texas Education Agency encourages educators to have a look at what parents see when they log on to the TEA portal giving parents access to student, campus, and district test results. We encourage you to take TEA up on the invitation. The site offers links to a series of pages and videos offering more detail on […]

A Look at TEA’s Plans for Compliance with Every Student Succeeds Act

Come hell or high water, the process of mapping out the state’s implementation of federal requirements that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act goes on. Because of the disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey, however, federal officials gave the Texas Education Agency some extra time to submit the state plan required by the successor federal […]

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 […]

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 […]

State of Play at the State Capitol as More Deadlines Arrive

A series of critical deadlines will winnow the list of bills still in play at the state Capitol this weekend as the Legislature heads toward a mandatory adjournment on May 29. Look for Hotline updates over the weekend, as the House meets both Saturday and Sunday and the Senate convenes Sunday evening. One key deadline […]

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 […]