Texas has chosen to abandon our public schools

Texas has chosen to abandon our local public schools, locally elected school boards, superintendents and our 5.4 million schoolchildren in favor of a “my way or the highway” single system directive by Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. That’s why I’m standing up to say, “Whoa! Hold your horses, please, Mr. Commissioner.”

TEA does not have a system for uniformly tracking COVID-19 cases but they're still tracking STAAR.  Read more here

Tell the governor to do his job and control the spread.  While you are at it, tell the governor to suspend STAAR now like Georgia did.

Stand up for students and teachers by wearing Red4Ed every Wednesday and posting your images on social media.

In other news, superintendents leading 10 Houston-area school districts sent a letter to Public Health Director Shah opposing Harris County’s recommendations for reopening campuses, saying essentially that scientific recommendations take too long. The ten school district superintendents who wrote the letter represent Clear Creek, Cy-Fair, Deer Park, Huffman, Humble, Katy, Klein, Pasadena, Spring Branch and Tomball ISDs. 

"In response to the letter, Harris County Public Health officials said in a statement that the organization 'has made it abundantly clear that current indicators are not safe to resume in-person activities in Harris County due to COVID-19.”

Texas AFT president Zeph Capo stated that "all Houston area districts should be guided by the same scientific data. If and when something happens, these individuals that have made these independent decisions under their independent authority are going to have to assume 100-percent of the liability."

The full letter is here.

Can you help#ProtectStudents #ProtectEducators and wear Red4Ed every Wednesday, posting photos on social media and wearing red in public?

And in the middle of reopening ping pong, we still have state takeover and now the oxymoronic "system of great schools" threatening public education. Diane Ravitch wrote on Monday that "Anette Carlisle, public education advocate in Texas, describes how State Commissioner Mike Morath, a non-educator, bought into the anti-democratic strategy of killing local school boards and privatizing public schools. He swallowed whole the disruption program of the Center for Reinventing Public Education, one of the Gates-funded think tanks that call for the abandonment of public schools."

Despite a full decade of failure, phony “reformers” claim that education will improve if private corporations and entrepreneurs take over from elected school boards. It hasn’t worked anywhere, and it won’t work in Texas."

Carlisle writes:

Texas has chosen to abandon our local public schools, locally elected school boards, superintendents and our 5.4 million schoolchildren in favor of a “my way or the highway” single system directive by Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. That’s why I’m standing up to say, “Whoa! Hold your horses, please, Mr. Commissioner.”

It’s an effort that’s been building for years, right under our noses. People said, “Surely not,” but here we are.

Look back to 2019 and the Center for Reinventing Public Education’s (CRPE) report centered around the System of Great Schools (SGS) concept. The System of Great Schools “starts from the premise that local school districts are ill-positioned to improve schools directly,” and local districts should “get out of the business of managing instruction in schools.”

Morath, according to the CRPE, “prioritized the SGS initiative as a signature project” and even “smoothed the path for the SGS team to work inside the agency” when other TEA staff disapproved.

It’s just one example of the state telling school district leaders to take a hike and locally elected boards to get out of the way.

Earlier this year, The Texas Tribune interviewed Commissioner Morath, and his thoughts on local control came more clearly into focus. Asked about the state’s takeover of Houston ISD, Morath said, “This is basically a grand, philosophical question that is a right for state legislatures around the country to try to answer. Why do we have schools? Do we have schools to teach children, or do we have schools to have elected school boards?”

The takeaway? Local communities don’t know what’s best for kids. The state does.

Unfortunately, state leaders have shown throughout this crisis: They don’t know best. It’s time for locally elected officials and school leaders to stand up and say, “Hold your horses, Mr. Commissioner. Thanks, but no, thanks. We’ll take it from here.”

Mark your calendar to #ProtectStudents #ProtectEducators and wear Red4Ed every Wednesday, posting photos on social media and wearing red in public?


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