Civil Rights Groups Demand Accountability for Equity in Public Education

Eleven civil-rights groups were out this morning with a letter calling on local, state and federal policy makers to focus on equity when designing school accountability systems. They argue that schools should get credit not just for boosting test scores, but for prioritizing integration; supporting students' emotional, cultural and physical well-being; creating an equitable disciplinary system and developing services that build on the "cultural and linguistic assets children bring to schools." The groups also call for a new focus on engaging parents, especially those who speak languages other than English. And they seek better teacher preparation, including programs to help educators recognize implicit bias. Signatories include the National Urban League, the NAACP and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Read more

Failing Grade for Testing

A Dallas teacher, in The Dallas Morning News on October 17, 2014, writes that "the worship of data and the hyperreliance on the acquisition of test data lead to a disastrous loss of instructional time in the classroom. Every minute spent testing (and evaluating test results) is a minute that could be spent on actual instruction. Read more

Grier asks DA's office to criminalize teaching

Do you believe that the DA's Office should be spending taxpayer dollars investigating allegations of teachers cheating on high stakes testing? Last year, one of the teachers Grier accused of cheating on the STAAR test was on medical leave during testing. The local investigation showed no evidence of cheating and the state indicated that the erasure record showed no evidence of cheating. Now Grier wants to revisit the issue and has asked Harris County District Attorney Anderson to investigate. Is Devon Anderson using our children to win an election? At what cost to our kids? Read more

School standardized testing is under growing attack, leaders pledge changes

Did you know that standardized testing is coming under increasing attack? An Oct 15 Washington Post story by Lyndsey Layton starts with "The standardized test, a hallmark of the accountability movement that has defined U.S. public education since 2002, is under growing attack from critics who say students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade are taking too many exams." Read more

Anatomy of Educational Inequality & Why School Funding Matters

School Finance 101 Blog By Bruce BakerPosted on September 13, 2014 There continues to be much bluster out there in ed reform that money really isn’t all that important – especially for traditional public school districts. That local public schools and districts already have way too much money but use it so inefficiently that any additional dollar would necessarily be wasted. An extension of this line of reasoning is that therefore differences in spending across districts are also inconsequential.    Read more

To Fight for Public Schools Is to Fight for Democracy

The Network For Public Education (NPE) formed in 2013 with a singular goal:to mobilize the allies of public education against the powerful forces supporting privatization and high-stakes testing. The leaders of NPE have faith in the power of democracy and the value of our greatest democratic institution-public education.   Read more

To close the achievement gap, we need to close the teaching gap

Address inequities that undermine learning: Every international indicator shows that the U.S. supports its children less well than do other developed countries, who offer universal health care and early childhood education, as well as income supports for families. Evidence is plentiful that when children are healthy and well-supported in learning in the early years and beyond, they achieve and graduate at higher rates. The latest PISA report also found that the most successful nations allocate proportionately more resources to the education of disadvantaged students, while the United States allocates less. Read more

Mother of HISD student refuses to allow son to take STAAR test

The state's STAAR tests are no stranger to controversy, but one third-grader's refusal to be tested is raising questions about what kind of say students should have in their own education. Read more

What happens when a CVPE parent in HISD opts out of STAAR?

Back in April 2014, third grader Diego Geisler stayed home from school for four days in a row.Instead of going to Helms Elementary in the Heights, Diego and his mom Claudia De Leon Geisler went on some field trips. She refused to let him take the third grade STAAR exams in reading and math. It’s called opting out and it’s a growing movement. Read more

Lee, Sridharan, Sung: HISD gets a failing grade on its teacher evaluations

CVPE's Alpa, Jason, Anne, and Saul challenge HISD's use of test scores to evaluate and pay teachers in this op-ed in the Houston Chronicle. Read more

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