The following is a statement from the ATPE Governmental Relations Director Brock Gregg regarding Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and State Sen. Larry Taylor’s press conference March 3:
“ATPE would like to work with Chairman Taylor and the Texas Senate to take a hard look at Texas public education. Although some students are having trouble passing the STAAR exam, to continually call those students and their schools a failure is unacceptable. Punishing those schools and pushing alternative private management is not a productive use of our state resources. Continuing to blame public schools and ramping up punishments for low performance on a test does not make the system more trustworthy, especially if no one believes in the test.
We were encouraged to hear Chairman Taylor speak about examining the accountability system and the testing that drives it, and feel that before the state decides to close schools or turn them over to private management, we need to make sure our measurements are valid and can be applied in a way that the public trust in our system is maintained.
We need our legislative leaders to stop chasing reform fads and focus on the hard work that we know is needed to improve our public schools starting at the community level and working our way up. That includes properly funding our public schools in an equitable manner, setting the bar high for our educators, and then treating them like professionals with the pay and benefits they deserve. Texas needs to give our students a quality educational environment where the end goal is true learning, not just scoring higher on tests.”
Read Lt. Governor Patrick's press release on the legislation.