Newsroom

Featured News

Florida announces end to standardized testing; will Texas follow?

Gov. Abott with a smirk and Gov. DeSantis looking bewildered

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the end of standardized testing in his state. Gov. Greg Abbott usually copies DeSantis' every move, so we want to voice our support for the governor to add legislation to this third special session's agenda that cancels STAAR permanently. If we want to copy all the extremist homework of Florida and other states on mask mandates,...

Read More

Alternative Pathways–the “Career” Part of College/Career Readiness

It is axiomatic in most discussions of post-secondary readiness that a bachelor’s degree is the ticket to a prosperous, successful career. But does that make it true for every student in every circumstance? Three articles in the new issue of American Educator, the professional journal of the American Federation of...

Read More

Recommended Reading–a Texas AFT Leader on Improving Schools as Union Work

The Fall 2010 issue of American Educator, the professional journal of the American Federation of Teachers, includes an extraordinary essay by one of our own, new Texas AFT Secretary-Treasurer Louis Malfaro. His piece, entitled "The Professional Educator: Lessons on Organizing for Power and School Improvement," offers many insights into what...

Read More

More From State Accountability Hearing

At last week’s joint hearing of Texas House and Senate education committees, lawmakers kept coming back by one route or another to some key questions: How can the state get the benefit of information provided by standardized testing without continuing the excessive emphasis on testing at the expense of time...

Read More

Not Waiting for Superman

The much-hyped movie “Waiting for Superman” has been the focus this week of a media campaign that scapegoats teachers and their unions for all the ills of the nation’s schools, while portraying the operators of select charter schools and self-designated “school reformers” as heroes.  Read More

Read More

Now in Force: Notable Provisions of New Health-Care Law

Some highly popular provisions of the new federal law on health care have taken effect. As of September 23, six months after passage of the new law, the following features are in force for all insurance plans: --Health-insurance providers are prohibited from discriminating against children under age 19 with pre-existing...

Read More

Update on Federal Education-Jobs Funding

The delivery of $830 million earmarked for Texas school districts by Congress last month, as part of the new Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, is still on hold. Gov. Rick Perry insists that Texas cannot under state law provide assurances required by Congress that the state won’t cut its...

Read More

Higher-Ed Academic Workforce Survey

AFT’s national office reports that the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW)–of which AFT is a member–is kicking off a major survey to collect information about the working lives of contingent academics (non-tenure-track, full- and part-time instructors and researchers; graduate employees; and postdoctoral fellows). It is the first national survey...

Read More

A Test for Legislators: Questions About Test-Driven School Accountability

In the 2007 and 2009 legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers enacted significant future changes in the state's test-focused accountability system. The changes include use of end-of-course exams instead of an exit-level exam as a high-school graduation requirement, along with tougher tests at all levels that are supposedly calibrated to show progress...

Read More

There They Go Again, Off the Deep End: Your State Board of Education in Action

The hard-right faction of the State Board of Education took advantage of the absence of two Board members today to win a seven-to-six vote on a resolution condemning alleged "pro-Islamic, anti-Christian" bias in textbooks. The seven-member bloc, often self-described as the "social conservative" faction, first knocked down a substitute resolution,...

Read More

Seeking State Health-Care Savings: Do It With Us, Not to Us

The Texas Senate’s State Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Robert Duncan, Republican of Lubbock, is taking a new look at how to engineer cost savings in state-financed health-care programs. These include the state-run Teacher Retirement System’s programs for active and retired school employees and the Employees Retirement System’s plan for...

Read More

Community Colleges Are a Bargain for the State and Deserve Full State Support

At a Legislative Budget Board hearing Tuesday on funding for community colleges, Texas AFT voiced strong support for funding community colleges that recognizes the high value of this critical resource. That means full state funding (less tuition and fees that enable affordable access) of community-college operational costs–including the full amount...

Read More