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 […]

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.”

Bypass Around End-of-Course Exams Extended Two Years under SB 463

Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) won Senate passage Monday of SB 463, his bill to extend until September 2019 the state law allowing a student to graduate from high school without passing up to two end-of-course STAAR exams. Under this law, an individual graduation committee can be convened to determine whether the student has demonstrated proficiency […]

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 […]

House Bills Would Curb State Testing Excesses, Delay Rollout of A-F Ratings

A batch of bills heard in the House Public Education Committee this week would make significant strides toward reining in the outsized role of standardized state testing in school accountability. The leading bill is HB 22 by committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston), which would delay use of A-F ratings until August 2019, giving the Legislature […]