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Children in this great nation should be treated with all the respect, intention, and love needed for them to achieve their dreams. Unfortunately, Miles and other deformers seem hell-bent on excluding the children who need us the most from our nation’s promise.
This morning HISD Superintendent Miles announced NES reforms will expand to as many as 40 more schools next year based almost entirely on unofficial and flawed STAAR data. You can also listen here to Miles (link after 3rd paragraph) explain why students will not be allowed to read novels in class, keep their libraries, or even have access to wraparound services in the 110 likely NES schools next year. Does he have no shame?
This year, the 28 NES schools are expected to cost HISD roughly an additional $100 million, Miles previously estimated. One wonders where Miles is going to find the additional $400 million to fund the additional schools. Since the state has not provided sufficient funding for Texas school districts, it is unlikely that Miles is the only superintendent in this great state to have found a spare half billion lying around.
F Mike Miles is so consumed with hyper-accountability, that he is also the only superintendent in the entire state to release unofficial A-F ratings with HISD’s calculations based on the state’s formula. This is even though a Texas judge blocked the release of the state’s unlawful A-F rating system after 100 school districts successfully sued the state this past fall.
Here are several reasons why the new A-F ratings were blocked by a judge from being released.
The new guidelines raised the “cut scores” for getting an ‘A’ rating on so-called college and career readiness scores from 60% to 88%. Then, the governor applied the new rules to students who already graduated the prior year before the rules had even been released. This is one of the reasons why many schools are projected to drop from a ‘B’ to a ‘D.’ Schools with better performance can actually see a lower rating this year than last year. This data is tainted and should not be used to turn even more schools into baby prisons for both teachers and children.
This past spring’s STAAR was a new harder version. Traditionally, during the rollout of a new accountability system, for example from TAAS to TAKS to STAAR, the ratings did not count during the transition year. After all, the assessments were completely different and could not be compared to each other. Not so for Miles. He will use any data - no matter how flawed - to bring chaos to our schools.
This past spring’s STAAR was fully online for all students for the first time. An HISD parent said this was a particularly hard transition for her eight-year-old who did not yet know how to type. At the high school level, many students, particularly students with disabilities and emerging bilingual students, mistakenly wrote a short answer for the long essay prompt because the format was ambiguous, thus guaranteeing a low score regardless of ability.
It bears noting that the third grader taking the harder online STAAR this past year was in kindergarten and first grade during the hardest two years of COVID.
More globally, researchers have found that A-F ratings provide no meaningful information about how a school is doing. This is why most states do not use the A-F rating system and Texas is one of only eight states to use the A-F rating system.
Will you stand up for our children? Get everyone you know to sign the petition to take the first step to get more involved. Opt out of STAAR. Write a letter to the editor. Plan a teacher, parent, or student sick out.
When there is nothing left to lose, stand up and fight for what is right.
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