Topic: Testing

Test-Driven Accountability: Changes Needed

Texas AFT testified today in the Texas Senate on HB 500, a bill by Rep. Rob Eissler, Republican of The Woodlands, that would make some modest changes in the state’s test-driven accountability system. The bill would scale down the number of end-of-course exams a student would have to pass in order to graduate from high school under the new State...

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“Mandate Relief” Bills Still Snagged

HB 400, the bill to gut class-size caps, authorize teacher pay cuts and unpaid furloughs, and undercut contract protections, was knocked off the House agenda again today because of a procedural error. That’s the third time this ill-conceived bill has been forced back to committee for correction of errors. But it still has a chance to come up again on...

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Attack on Class-Size Caps, Pay, Contracts Back on House Calendar for Friday

HB 400, the so-called “mandate relief” bill to make permanent, adverse changes in state law on class size, teacher pay, and educators’ contract protections, is back on the House calendar. The bill is scheduled to come up for a first floor vote on Friday, May 6. Look for an opportunity to take new action against HB 400 in the next...

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Eve of Action on HB 400, SB 12 “Mandate Relief” Bills

Two bills to provide "flexibility" for school districts at the expense of students and teachers could come up for floor votes in the Texas House (HB 400) and Senate (SB 12) tomorrow (Tuesday, April 26). Messages from school employees and parents all over the state already have slowed these bills down, but they haven't yet been stopped. Please send an...

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AFT President Testifies in Texas Senate on Lessons of Local Evaluation Experiments

AFT President Randi Weingarten presented impromptu testimony in the Texas Senate Education Committee this morning on the important issue of how to improve teacher evaluation. Weingarten commended committee chair Sen. Florence Shapiro, Republican of Plano, for recognizing the need for urgent action on this issue. The AFT leader spoke in response to a substitute version of Shapiro’s SB 4. The...

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Classrooms Under Assault in the Texas Legislature

Texas legislative honchos, with an eye on opinion polls showing strong support for public schools, like to say their goal this session is to “protect the classroom” from the impact of a huge revenue shortfall. But the reality of what they have in store for our schools is something altogether different. The students and teachers who populate Texas classrooms face...

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Standardized Testing Under Fire

HB 500, a bill by Rep. Rob Eissler, Republican of The Woodlands, would reduce to four from 12 the number of end-of-course tests a student must pass in order to graduate under the new STAAR testing regime for students entering high school in the fall. Among other things, his bill also gives districts discretion to decide how much end-of-course exams...

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Hearings Next Week: Bills to Base Evaluations on Standardized-Test Scores

If you think the emphasis on standardized testing in our schools is bad now, just wait and see what happens if the legislature passes SB 4 by Sen. Florence Shapiro, Republican of Plano, and HB 1587, by Rep. Rob Eissler, Republican of The Woodlands. Both bills would overhaul the state appraisal system for teachers by focusing individual evaluations on the...

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