The Texas State Teachers Association believes it is time for state officials to stop wringing their hands over standardized test scores and start giving the public schools the support they need. Even as enrollment in Texas’ public schools continues to grow by about 85,000 children a year, the governor and the legislative majority last year cut $5.4 billion from school funding. The result was fewer teachers, larger classes and a weakened learning environment. And, oh yes, the same officials left $8.1 billion of taxpayer money unspent in the Rainy Day Fund.
Small wonder Texas’ Adequate Yearly Progress report took a beating, and higher passing standards were only partly to blame.
Here is what TSTA President Rita Haecker had to say about the latest AYP report:
“Texas’ Adequate Yearly Progress ratings are not surprising. The simple truth is that Texas’ alleged school ‘accountability’ system, on which the AYP ratings are based, was designed to fail. The governor and the legislative majority have spent too much time focusing on a high stakes test while cutting the resources our teachers and students need to succeed. The $5.4 billion in education cuts last year resulted in thousands of overcrowded classrooms and diminished learning opportunities.
“Texas parents, educators and business leaders have the ability to start charting a new direction this November. We have educators and students with the talent and desire to make every classroom a place of learning and success. But we need legislators and other political leaders who care more about our children’s success than they do about misguided political ideology.”