Topic: Resources

Budget Analysis Documents Harm Done in 2011 Legislative Session

A new report from the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities updates the damage inventory resulting from state budget cuts forced through the legislature by the governor and legislative leaders last spring and summer. The December 2011 report by analyst Eva DeLuna Castro notes that “the state budget directly eliminates 5,727 public jobs by 2013, while school districts will lose...

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Latest NAEP Urban Scores Show Impact of Economic Woes

Scores of urban districts on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, a/k/a “the nation’s report card) reflect two overarching trends that have been converging over the last two years to the detriment of student and school performance: economic and school-budget devastation and a fixation on accountability rather than on teaching and learning, AFT President Randi Weingarten says. “Increases in...

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Inequity Found Within Districts in Funding for High-Poverty Schools

A new report out of the U.S. Department of Education confirms that state and local funding lags behind for schools that have high percentages of economically disadvantaged students, even though the high-poverty schools receive federal aid that is intended to provide extra help for the disadvantaged. According to this federal study, based on data collected for the first time under...

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New Research on How African-American and Latino Parents See Public Education

A new study commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows that African-American and Latino parents have high educational expectations for their children, see big problems in their communities with high dropout and low graduation and college-attendance rates—and seek improvements that match up well with the agenda for educational progress advanced by the American Federation of Teachers. Some 57...

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Doing Something Right—the Real Story of Texas Public Schools

The folks at Friends of Texas Public Schools perform a signal public service by compiling from time to time the evidence of effective work—in spite of inadequate funding—carried out by public schools in Texas and the nation. We encourage you to check out the 2011 edition of the Friends’ flier, captioned:  “Great things are happening in Texas Public Schools,” which...

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Scathing Report on Texas Curriculum Guidelines for U.S. History Courses

Earlier this month university history professors issued a scathing report, commissioned by the Texas Higher Education Board, on the recently adopted curriculum guidelines for the teaching of history in Texas high schools. (You will find the report here: http://txfacultycollaboratives.org/images/stories/assets/documents/SocStudies_docs/Bridging_the_Gap.pdf.) Led by Professor Keith Erekson of the University of Texas at El Paso, the authors of this report found a major...

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Survey Shows Destructive Budget Cuts Hitting Students and Teachers Hard

A recent Texas AFT web survey of more than 3,500 teachers, school employees and parents reveals the extent to which our schools are experiencing widespread layoffs, cuts to key programs and services, larger class sizes, and stressful conditions for teaching and learning—all related to the $5.4 billion in state budget cuts enacted this year. In addition to quantifying some of...

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Enrollment Trends in Texas Public Schools

An October 2011 report by the Texas Education Agency on trends in school enrollment points up the rapid rise in the number of students in our state’s public schools--and the rapidly rising percentages of economically disadvantaged students among them. Over the ten-year period from school year 2000-01 to school year 2010-11, enrollment grew by 862,184 students, or 21.2 percent.  At...

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What Do You Think? Let Your Voice Be Heard on Current Issues Via “AFT Voices”

On the “AFT Voices” Web site (http://www.aft.org/voices/), AFT members like you are invited to say what you think about a wide array of current issues affecting teachers, paraprofessionals, and all school-related personnel.  Your opinions are valued and need to be heard. So here’s a menu of the current crop of questions you are invited to answer—and we encourage you to...

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Impact of State Budget Cuts: Last Chance to Have Your Say Via Online Survey

We’re coming down to the final few days of our online survey regarding the impact of recent state education cuts in your school districts. Thanks are due to the thousands of you who have already responded.  If you have not yet participated, please do so now. Please help Texas AFT gauge and chronicle the impact of the $5.4 billion in...

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School-Finance Analysts Tally Staffing Reductions in Wake of Budget Cuts—Tell Your Story

The school-finance specialists at the Austin consulting firm of Moak, Casey & Associates have a new report out offering an early look at school districts’ responses to the state budget cuts of $5.4 billion for the 2012-2013 biennium. The report says: “Districts responding to a recent survey on staffing practices indicated that they are employing 11,833 fewer staff members than...

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Help Parents Fight Corporate Bid to Escape School Taxes—Sign Online Petition

Tomorrow the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality meeting in Austin will have an unusual audience—a whole passel of parents who are none too happy about the bid by Valero Energy Corporation for a tax refund from TCEQ that would come at the expense of Texas school districts. The parents gathering at TCEQ on Wednesday are part of the Texas Organizing...

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