Can you come to the Ride for Public Ed and Phone Jam at the Houston Region 4 Building (proxy for TEA) on Monday, March 15th? RSVP here.
We need to hold Gov. Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountable for their reckless decisions to end the mask mandate when so few Texans are vaccinated and to push the STAAR test during a pandemic. Students must matter more than their data.
Is TEA playing a shell game with the health of students and school personnel? On Thursday last week, TEA stated that schools wouldn’t lose state funding this academic year for coronavirus attendance declines.
Sounds great, right? But there is a catch. Schools will receive these funds ONLY if the school district increases their in-person student attendance. This puts school districts between a rock and a hard place . It incentivizes school districts to “require” parents to unsafely send their children to take the STAAR in-person.
Earlier in February, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath stated that virtual students will not be required to take the STAAR in person this year.
So what’s the catch this time? The devil is in the fine print. In the Spring 2021 State Assessment FAQ, TEA subsequently stated that “school systems that offer remote instruction are REQUIRED To take steps to ENCOURAGE those students receiving remote instruction to participate in state assessments.” Put another way, TEA is requiring schools districts to put pressure on school personnel and families to take the STAAR in person, placing teachers, students and families at risk.
TEA is violating its obligation to serve the students and school personnel in the state.
We will caravan around Region 4, meeting in the back parking lot at 7200 Northwest Dr off US 290 and Tidwell on Monday, March 15th at 10 am. We will be calling Gov Abbott, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick, TEA and others while we ride. We want them to fully fund our schools; stop coercing school districts and students to take the STAAR in- person during COVID; and to respect teachers, students and families recovering from SNOVID in the middle of COVID. Bring a sign and a mask. Social distancing protocols will be in place.