In the end, I pray 1) that our school leaders see that repeating the past will only produce more of what we already have, 2) that Houston ISD gets the opportunity to evolve from the soul-crushing metrics of raising standardized test scores by a few points and 3) that all HISD stakeholders become invested in delivering the holistic environment and enriched curriculum that maximizes the individual potential of each and every child.
We must think bigger. Our children deserve better. Read More
The children of Houston need a school district less focused on the STAAR. Less focused on what the TEA wants to hear and more focused on what our kids actually need. For the first time in many years, we have a progressive Board of Trustees who trust teachers to do their jobs, who want to invest in the arts and other evidence-based programs to educate the whole child and rely less on standardized testing as the primary measure of success. However, it seems that many of those values walked out the door last Saturday when the TEA consultant walked in. Read More
With respect to over testing our children, the tide is turning in HISD.
In the state’s largest school district and arguably one of the birthplaces of corporate education reform, these years of parents asking questions, expecting more and opting out when they’d had enough is working. Trustees—new and old—and now their new superintendent see that change can no longer wait.
And it looks like that change may get one step closer this week. Read More
The board should take a number of proactive steps to protect students, parents and teachers:
1) Table approving any school calendars until administration has solved these conflicts to the satisfaction of the board.
2) Follow last year’s precedent and suspend the use of STAAR scores as a promotion standard for non state-required grades: 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th.
3) Bring the summer school schedule into the same official calendaring process as the regular school year so that conflicts like this have greater transparency and receive the same public input.
4) Guarantee that all teachers necessary to a student’s grade placement and accelerated instruction planning are available and compensated for participating in GPC meetings.
If student success and school accountability are important to this board, then students, teachers and parents need to know that trustees are putting the policies and tools in place not to just give assessments but to also appropriately respond to their results. Read More
So, while the board is lobbying for our city to buck the system regarding recapture, I’m asking you do the same thing when it comes to the intensive testing culture we have in this state.
First, step up locally and remove promotion standards tied to STAAR for grades other than 5th and 8th grade.
Then, continue the work of removing the ties of STAAR and teacher evaluations.
Next, let’s think about how we can support failing students rather than punish them, and how Houston ISD can work together with other districts across the state to demand the TEA and education policy in Texas do the same? Read More