Topic: Parents

Onslaught Against Public Education Continues in Senate Committee

A steady stream of pseudo-reform legislation promoted by would-be privatizers of public education will continue flowing in the Texas Senate Education Committee during the week of April 1. SB 1298 by Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), up for a hearing on April 2, would authorize state-funded online instruction up to full-time for students now home-schooled or in private school, and the...

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Texas AFT Strongly Opposes “Parent Tricker” Legislation in Senate Testimony

At a hearing of the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi forcefully opposed a new, accelerated version of “parent trigger” legislation that would help charter operators take over neighborhood schools. Speaking in opposition to SB 1263 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) and Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), Quinzi said the so-called “parent trigger” model “is presented...

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Another Move to Placate Critics of State Testing Regime

Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has made another administrative move to reduce pressure for change in the current state testing regime. On March 12 he announced a plan to release in August the 2013 STAAR exams that are being used this spring in grades 3-8 and the 15 end-of-course exams used in high school. Said Williams: “As we have rolled...

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Senate Education Panel Weighs Effects of Legislation Downgrading Due-Process Protection, Implementing New STAAR Testing Regime

It was not easy to get a word in edgewise at the October 30 hearing of the Senate Education Committee, partly because it covered so much ground in barely a couple of hours, including:  SB 8, the bill that downgraded vital safeguards of due process and salary standards in state law; SB 738, the bill creating a limited version of...

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AFT’s Answer to Attacks on Public Education, Public Services: “Solution-Driven Unionism”

AFT President Randi Weingarten kicked off the American Federation of Teachers national convention in Detroit on Friday with a call for “solution-driven unionism” that answers ongoing attacks on public education and public-sector workers with problem-solving policy initiatives of our own. “We need to act in innovative, creative, and new ways—simultaneously refuting our critics, advancing our values, connecting with community and...

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More Districts Pass Resolutions Against Overemphasis on Testing; PTA Launches Resolution Effort

At least 407 Texas school boards now have now passed a resolution calling for the legislature to reexamine the state's accountability system. The resolution--sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA)--asks the Legislature to "develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and other external evaluation arrangements, and more accurately reflects...

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Texas “Parent Trigger” for Charter Conversion of Neighborhood Schools Has Limited Scope

Charter-school operators who want to take over neighborhood schools have hit upon a new strategy of late, seeking to pass state legislation under which a majority of parents at a campus can trigger charter conversion by petition. The prototype of this so-called “parent trigger” legislation, based on a model promoted by the corporate-dominated American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), was passed...

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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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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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