Topic: Evaluations

New Poll Confirms Nationwide Turn Against Overtesting and Underfunding

The new school year commencing this week brings new evidence of a continuing turn in public opinion nationwide against the misuse and overuse of standardized testing. The newly reported results of the Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup poll from May of this year also tell us the public wants more public investment in our schools and opposes the use of public funds...

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U.S. Senate Begins a Multi-Day Debate on Fixing No Child Left Behind Act

The U.S. Senate today began considering the Every Child Achieves Act, aiming to leave behind the multiple follies of the No Child Left Behind Act and of the Race to the Top program that furthered NCLB’s test-and-punish agenda. Many amendments are due to be debated over the next few days, but it’s worth noting how big a change this bill...

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A Key Senate Vote on Minimum Teacher Pay

For decades Texas has maintained a minimum salary schedule for teachers, recognizing in state law that there’s something to be said for experience and it ought to be rewarded. For almost as long, an ideological campaign against that minimum salary schedule has been under way, with many unsuccessful attempts to kill it based on the claim that a salary step...

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Senate Passes Bill for Test-Driven Appraisals and “Insulting” Minimum Pay Figure; Still Time to Take Action!

We put out a call to action yesterday: "STAAR is not the measure of good teaching, and teachers are worth more than $27,540 a year!" And thanks go to the thousands of school employees who responded with letters and phone calls to their legislators, along with thousands of social media shares for our campaign. Unfortunately, the Senate Education Committee passed...

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Challenging Test-Based Teacher Appraisal and Pay in the Senate Education Committee

(Related: STAAR is Not the Measure of Good Teaching, and You’re Worth More than $27,540!) Texas AFT opposed a bill by Sen. Kel Seliger, Republican of Amarillo, in the Senate Education Committee on March 19, because that bill would give the commissioner of education broad new authority to impose statewide appraisal requirements mandating heavy reliance on standardized test scores of a...

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Public Education in Texas at a Crossroads, Part One

Last year Linda Bridges, our late Texas AFT president, issued a prescient forecast of what we could face in the 2015 state legislative session. She wrote: Public education in Texas is at a crossroads. Our schools and institutions of higher education are under relentless attack from corporate interests that seek to profit from the hostile takeover of public education. Down...

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House Panel on Teacher Quality Named; Test-Based Evaluations Still an Issue

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, the Republican from Killeen who chairs the full House Public Education Committee, today named a five-member subcommittee on teacher quality that is likely to consider the role of standardized state achievement tests in teacher evaluation. The subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Dan Huberty, Republican of Humble, with Democrat Joe Deshotel of Beaumont as vice-chair. The...

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New Mexico Lawsuit Challenges Another Bad Teacher-Evaluation Policy

Last year Houston ISD teachers, backed by the Houston Federation of Teachers, Texas AFT, and the national AFT, filed suit over inequities and inaccuracies pervading the district’s evaluation system. (The suit is pending.) On February 13, something similar happened next door in New Mexico, as teachers, state legislators, AFT New Mexico, and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation joined in a lawsuit...

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State Education Commissioner Says Test-Driven Evaluations Won’t Be Imposed on Districts

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams told the State Board of Education today that he does not have any authority to impose on school districts a state appraisal model that makes students’ scores on state tests a factor in teachers’ evaluations. Moreover, despite federal pressure to impose such a model statewide and mandate its use as a significant factor in evaluations...

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Federal Pressure for Test-Driven Teacher Evaluation May Be Abating

Indications are increasing that Congress may put a stop to the U.S. Department of Education’s push for test-driven teacher evaluation. The USDE has been pressuring the Texas Education Agency to impose a statewide mandate making state test scores a major factor in teacher evaluation, but state Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has acknowledged that his agency lacks the authority to...

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