Thomas Ratliff was elected to the Texas State Board of Education in 2010. A Republican, he has emerged as one of the most eloquent and powerful voices for public education in the state. In this article, explains; Testing in Texas is out of control.
But wait: here is Sandy Kress, architect of the reviled NCLB, insisting that every child in Texas has the right to be tested with super frequency. Testing is the very foundation, it seems, of the state’s economy. without it, where would Texas be? Kress is now a lobbyist for Pearson, which won a five-year contract for almost $500 million from the state of Texas. The legislature found the testing money at the same time they cut the public schools’ budget by $5.4 Billion. That’s B for Billions.
Sara Stevenson, a librarian at O. Henry Middle School in Austin, sent the following letter to the editor in response to Kress’s spirited defense of standardized testing:
“Surprise, surprise. Sandy Kress, a current lobbyist for Pearson, the
British testing company with a $468,000,000 five year contract with
Texas, argues in favor of the new tests. He believes that these new
tests will guarantee the state’s constitutional responsibilities for
“a general diffusion of knowledge” among the population. But Article 7
of the Texas constitution is more specific. It calls for the “support
and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
“Article 7 is about the state’s obligation to support public schools,
not to test them. Texas did not meet this standard when it cut 5.4
billion dollars for public education in the current biennium. Texas
successfully educated its citizens for over a century without these
increasingly onerous, standardized tests.”