Yesterday, Dec. 15th, the HISD School Board postponed the redistricting vote until after the new year. Thank you for asking your board members to provide more time for community input and the need for the new district maps to reflect Houston's rich demographic diversity. It is important that the adopted plan comply more fully with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to not dilute minority voting strength by fracturing or packing. Read more in the Houston Chronicle here and in CVPE's blog here.
The Houston Chronicle also reported yesterday that "among Katy ISD’s top priorities for the upcoming legislative session are changes to the state testing and accountability system including Texas’ current STAAR test....
"The problem with the test, Katy ISD documents state, is that, 'The state’s accountability (A-F) system is disproportionately based on a single end-of-year STAAR. Meanwhile, the state’s mandate to administer online STAAR tests for elementary students is impractical, as many of these students are not yet proficient in using a keyboard.'
"Katy ISD further contends that House Bill 4545 places “undue burden on students and staff and assumes quality intervention by school districts is not already being provided to students.”
Other school districts should join Katy ISD in advocating for ending the over-reliance on high-stakes testing.
The governor and state legislature should fully and more equitably fund our schools and end the following harmful STAAR practices:
- Let’s end the use of STAAR for graduation. Only 11 states do this.
- Let’s end the use of STAAR to require students to attend more STAAR prep (HB 4545) at the expense of meaningful support.
- Let’s stop using STAAR to evaluate teachers.
- Let’s stop using STAAR for ranking schools (A-F rating system.) It does not help children at all; it just puts a Scarlett letter on communities.
Write your state rep/senator and ask them to sponsor or support a bill to do these things.
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