Texas brought No Child Left Behind to the nation.
Remember that candidate George W. Bush said that Texas had figured out how to fix the schools. He said test every child every year, post the results, reward the schools where scores go up, humiliate those where scores go down. And, wow, a miracle: the scores go up, up, up; the achievement gap closes; graduation rates go up. Win-win-win-win.
Except it didn’t happen. And now the whole country is stuck with a testing regime that is sucking the life out of education.
This report from Texas describes a growing revolution against testing. The schools are up in arms: 77% of the school boards enrolling 86% of all Texas students have passed a resolution opposing high-stakes testing. The Houston superintendent said that 65 days (out of 180) are consumed by testing.
Now a group known as “Moms Against Drunk Testing” has joined the fray. They are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. Last year, the state cut the school budget by $5.4 billion, while handing a fat contract to Pearson for $468 million. Meanwhile the state wants more and more and more testing.
(A few hours after this post appeared, I received the following message: So glad we have support around the country! Our real name is TAMSA (Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment) and we have a facebook page and a website. Please “like us” and “join in” on our website! The more members and “likers” we have, the stronger we will be in the upcoming legislative session.
Go, Texas, go! If the testing vampire is slain, the whole facade of faux reform collapses. No test scores, no merit pay, no evaluation by test scores, no closing schools by scores.
Don’t mess with Texas!
I am speaking on Sunday morning to a joint convention of the Texas School Boards Association and the Texas Association of School Administrators at the Austin Convention Center.
On Sunday from 2-4, I am meeting with parents and teachers to talk about the kind of stuff we discuss on this blog. Eastside Memorial High School. Y’all come!