Date: March 27, 2019
Contact: Stacy McMahan, Executive Director, East Texans for Liberty PAC
Gilmer, Texas: The East Texans for Liberty PAC Executive Director and Board of Directors strongly oppose Senate Bill 10, Senate Bill 11, and House Bill 1448 in the 86th Legislative Session for the following reasons:
- Transforms Texas schools from academic centers to mental health centers;
- Encroaches upon personal, parental, and medical liberty;
- Promotes conflicts of interest giving priority to pharmaceutical drugs over other types of mental healthcare;
- Infringes on the principle of limited government by creating a new one-hundred ($100) million program that is outside of the core functions of state government; and
- Establishes a new bureaucracy.
Yesterday, Texas Scorecard covered Texas’ “Big 3” Announce Agreement on State’s Priority Issues with Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and new House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
by Dustin Sensky
A top issue to East Texans for Liberty discussed in the article is teachers.
“Next to the parent, the teacher is the single most important person in the life of the student,” said Patrick. “Not enough money spent on education is spent on our teachers.”
Bonnen echoed that sentiment, mentioning that he has heard many teachers say the only way they could get increased pay was to take on an administrative role at the district level. “The path to more money in education should not be outside the classroom,” Bonnen said. “Teachers will be the focus.”
We could not agree more!
For years, teachers have been asked to accept lower pay, make significant cuts in their departments, and forced to cover the costs of supplies in their classrooms, while funding for education, allocated through the state, failed to funnel past ISD administrations.
ET4L will be watching this legislation closely in hopes that the “Big 3” can get it done for our Texas teachers during the 86th Legislative Session.
State Board of Education Member Keven Ellis told us this would come out today. Check out how they did.
Gilmer ISD B;
Union Grove ISD A;
Union Hill ISD C;
Big Sandy ISD C;
Harmony ISD B;
Gladewater ISD C;
Ore City ISD B;
New Diana ISD C;
Pittsburg ISD B;
Gladewater ISD C
"Today, Texas unveiled a new rating system for public school districts and campuses. Essentially a report card for schools, the system aims to inform parents and educators how schools and districts perform on measures such as achievement and growth.
Improving the performance of public schools is a task fraught with many pitfalls, and while some stakeholders are understandably resisting stricter accountability, the moral and economic imperatives of a competitive world do not simply vanish because of disagreement.
In Texas, 55 percent of third-graders are reading below grade level, and 52 percent are below grade level in math proficiency. Fifty-one percent of eighth-graders in the state also read below grade level, according to the Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, and those figures are declining.
Additionally, a 2018 national assessment ranked Texas 46th in fourth-grade reading (declining), and 42nd in eighth-grade reading (also declining). Furthermore, 84% of Texas high school students fail to obtain a college-ready score on the SAT/ACT.
Passed by the legislature under two house bills, HB 2804 and HB 22, the A-F system assigns letter grades, ‘A’ for exemplary performance, through ‘F’ for unacceptable performance. Campus ratings are based on three factors:
- Student Achievement: For elementary and middle school students, achievement is solely determined on the basis of STAAR scores. High school achievement will be a composite of STAAR, college/career/military readiness, and graduation rate
- School Progress: Utilizes the higher score between academic growth (maintaining or improving STAAR proficiency) and relative performance (to other similarly situated schools)
- Closing the Gaps: Measures various student groups (race, economically disadvantaged, English learners, special education, etc.) via varied components and achievement targets to satisfy federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements
A detailed explanation of each aspect of the A-F Accountability System is available from the Texas Education Agency.
On a fundamental level, it is critically important that lawmakers craft a system of public education that allows all Texas students to learn and grow at grade level or above, but it unsurprisingly has met pushback from educrats more interested in keeping their own jobs than educating our children.
The Texas Association of School Administrators, staunch defenders of the status quo, dedicated webspace to fighting against the system, calling it a “mistake,” and arguing instead for community standards over state scrutiny.
While arguments against a single standardized state test are worth consideration, a patchwork of different community standards robs parents of meaningful comparisons. Additionally, STAAR has undergone recent revisions that give parents more tools, improvement incentives, and teacher input. Fears over the system treating high poverty schools unfairly are also circulating, although those concerns are addressed by the revised system.
This year, only school districts will receive official grades. Individual campus grades will be released in one year; however, interested parties will be able to view each school’s raw score and calculate a letter grade on that basis.
In addition to campus and district ratings, Texans may also view reports on the financial health of their local school district, including the outstanding debt-per-student, as well as the ratio of teachers to administrators and the average teacher salary.
For results and information about school district and campus scores, visit TXschools.org."
August 15, 2018by Salvador Ayala