Many educators, parents, and concerned citizens have spoken out against the misuse and overuse of standardized tests and test-based school ratings at a series of nine Community Conversations across the state prompted by State Board of Education chair Donna Bahorich of Houston. Now a lot more of us have a chance to weigh in via an online survey posted by the Texas Education Agency, but you’ll have to hurry—the survey is only open through Thursday, June 30.
Bahorich wants to use information gathered from the survey and the earlier meetings in a report to the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability and to the state Legislature. For purposes of influencing the Next Generation Commission, however, the timeline is very tight. That 15-member commission will be signing off on a draft version of its final report on July 27. And the findings from the Bahorich initiative first must be considered by the full State Board of Education at its July 19-22 meeting before the information goes to the commission.
The State Board survey is available in English at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2762440/State-Assessments-and-Accountability-Survey and in Spanish at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2851839/Encuesta-de-evaluaciones-y-responsabilidad-educativa-del-estado. The survey questions mostly ask if you agree or not with particular comments that came to the fore in the statewide Community Conversations. To see summaries of those comments from each of the Community Conversations, go to http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Leadership/State_Board_of_Education/SBOE_Meetings/Community_Conversations_about_Assessment_and_Accountability/.
For more information about the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability, you can visit http://tea.texas.gov/2804Commission.aspx. Also keep an eye out for continuing Hotline coverage of the Commission, State Board, and legislative action on state tests, test-driven school ratings, and accountability sanctions.