Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is consistent – consistently wrong on education policy and consistently refusing to admit it. Yesterday, he doubled down on his support for STAAR testing when, in an interview with the Texas Tribune, he reaffirmed his support for the new A-F grading system for public schools.
Because campus grades largely will be determined by STAAR scores, this will increase STAAR stress even more for kids, beginning with third-graders, a serious concern for parents and educators to whom Patrick remains oblivious.
School board members, superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and other people who actually know something about education are united in their opposition to the letter grading system because they know it will do absolutely nothing to improve public schools.
Instead, it simply will stigmatize low-income children, who likely will be tagged with the most Ds and Fs, if we can’t persuade the Legislature to repeal the law before it goes into effect next fall. Texas’ entire public education system is under-funded, but low-income and special-needs children are particularly ill-served by Patrick and a legislative majority that would rather punish and label kids as failures than own up to their own failure to adequately and fairly fund all the public schools.
“Anyone who thinks in the education community that…that system is going away – not going away,” Patrick said in his Tribune interview.
Fortunately, the legislative process is still a democracy, and Patrick doesn’t have to have the final say. Had it up to here with STAAR? Then tell you own legislators. Here is how to find your individual state senators and state representatives and how to contact them. Click on this link and fill in your home address: