CVPE Parent, Vincent Sanders, comments on decision to reduce high-stakes testing

"I understand that kids have to be evaluated; however, the many high-stakes tests that our children have to take, it's a little bit overwhelming," said Vincent Sanders, a member of the advocacy group Community Voices for Public Education who has two children in Houston schools. Read more

Why School Choice Fails the Poor

IF you want to see the direction that education reform is taking the country, pay a visit to my leafy, majority-black neighborhood in Washington. While we have lived in the same house since our 11-year-old son was born, he’s been assigned to three different elementary schools as one after the other has been shuttered. Now it’s time for middle school, and there’s been no neighborhood option available. Meanwhile, across Rock Creek Park in a wealthy, majority-white community, there is a sparkling new neighborhood middle school, with rugby, fencing, an international baccalaureate curriculum and all the other amenities that make people pay top dollar to live there. Read more

For the good of students, compromise on STAAR exam

The STAAR testing system now faces a formidable backlash, with parents, some business groups, teachers and high-level education experts calling for changes. Such dynamics present an opportunity if opponents and proponents seize the moment to strike a compromise. Read more

Poverty does matter. It is a societal imperative to fully fund equity of access for all children.

The design of better economic and social policies can do more to improve our schools than continued work on educational policy independent of such concerns. Read more

The Life and Death of Schools: Diane Ravitch on the real threats to public education

On the subject of public education, Diane Ravitch may be America's most important whistle-blower. The former U.S. assistant secretary of education doesn't employ hidden cameras or purloined documents, and she doesn't entrap teachers or find evidence of financial malfeasance by district administrators. Instead, she uses cold, hard numbers to expose the Big Lie: that the education reforms of the last two decades – from No Child Left Behind to high-stakes testing and the ongoing, bipartisan, national love affair with charter schools – have done much, or anything, to fix American public education. Read more

The most useless standardized tests

Perhaps the most useless standardized tests in the world are the "field" tests. This was written by Fred Smith, a retired New York City Board of Education senior analyst who worked for the public school system in test research and development. A version of this post first appeared on Read more

Editorial: All that testing is perverting public education

CVPE Member wrote an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle  and stated that "standardized tests were originally intended as diagnostic tools to identify areas where students need remediation, not as punitive weapons. Now school closures, hiring and firing decisions and graduation are directly linked to test scores. As a result, more and more time is spent preparing for and administering tests - time that otherwise would be spent teaching curriculum." Read more

A Texas Revolt Against High Stakes Testing

(UPDATED)At the time of this article 100 school districts had passed a resolution saying that high stakes standardized tests are "strangling" public schools. By the end of summer, over 700 Texas school districts would sign the resolution. HISD, after delegations of CVPE parents, teachers and students met with school board members in the spring 2012, signed a watered down version of the resolution. Read more

Weigh on testing!

In an effort to strengthen the voices of those most affected by the culture of standardized testing--students, parents, and teachers--we invite you to respond to our survey on high-stakes testing and to share them with everyone you know. Read more

6 Words: An English Benchmark Test

This week students across HISD are taking long benchmark tests to gauge their readiness for actual TAKS and STAAR testing in April and May. Here are some reflections from high school students after four hours of English benchmark testing. Read more