House Bill 5 – State assessments and graduation requirements:
House Bill 5 (HB 5), which would reduce the number of End of Course exams (EOC) from 15 to 5, and take us from a 4 x 4 curriculum to 4-3-3-3, has been referred to the Senate Education Committee. According to a recent New York Times article, this may be considered in the very near future. Now is the time to contact your Senator as well as members of the Senate Education Committee.
On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, the state House of Representatives approved HB 5 with a bipartisan vote of 147-2 which called for reduced testing, a new graduation plan, and a revised accountability system. This was good news for public school children across the state. HB 5 is directly aligned with our Legislative Agenda approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees. We have met with our Senators and Representatives to promote our Legislative Agenda and spoke on behalf of our students and staff. As many of you are probably aware, things change rapidly in Austin during a legislative session. Just a few weeks ago many Texans celebrated the passage ofHB 5, and today it appears we may be in trouble.
A number of big businesses, including the testing company Pearson, are lobbying heavily for adding more tests beyond the five End-of-Course (EOC) exams required for graduation in HB 5. Pearson has made over two billion dollars on testing in Texas since TAKS tests were required and now holds a $500 million contract with the State for STAAR testing. It doesn’t take an educator to see why Pearson supports excessive testing in Texas. Our state leaders must hear “repeatedly” that community members, educators and parents want HB 5 to pass the Senate floor as it was originally introduced and passed by the House with 5 EOCs, and ultimately be sent to the Governor for his signature. Please share your views with Governor Perry and Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst.
This is where you can help using your personal resources and during your personal time.
1 – CONTACT Governor Perry DAILY and share your views. Some suggestions include:
- Parents, his constituents, demand testing reform now
- We will accept NO MORE THAN FIVE EOC tests for any purpose
- Your personal stories and concerns about testing
- Texas schools need enriched curriculum not 37 state standardized tests. (17 tests administered in 3rd through 8th grade and 15 EOC tests administered 9th through 11th grade)
Governor’s contact info: (512) 463-2000 or http://governor.state.tx.us/contact/
2 – CONTACT Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and share your views. Some suggestions include:
- Ask him to put HB 5 on the Senate calendar for a floor vote.
- Tell him we will accept NO MORE THAN FIVE EOC tests for any purpose.
Lt. Governor’s contact info: (512) 463-0001 or http://www.ltgov.state.tx.us/contact.php
Sen. Robert Duncan, Chair….. (512) 463-0128
Sen. Robert Deuell, Vice-Chair….. (512) 463-0102
Sen. Rodney Ellis ….. (512) 463-0113
Sen. Troy Fraser….. (512) 463-0124
Sen. Joan Huffman….. (512) 463-0117
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. ….. (512) 463-0127
Sen. Robert Nichols….. (512) 463-0103
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte….. (512) 463-0126
Sen. Tommy Williams….. (512) 463-0104
Rep. Bill Callegari, Chair….. (512) 463-0528
Rep. Roberto R. Alonzo, Vice-Chair….. (512) 463-0408
Rep. Dan Branch….. (512) 463-0367
Rep. John Frullo….. (512) 463-0676
Rep. Roland Gutierrez….. (512) 463-0452
Rep. Phil King….. (512) 463-0738
Rep. Phil Stephenson….. (512) 463-0604
For contact information for your individual Representative and Senator (or to find out who they are), please visit this page, from the Texas Legislative Reference Library: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx (NOTE: This takes you right to the search page.) Putting in your street address will give you the Capitol Office phone number of your representative or senator, as well as their local district office.
NOTE: If you live in a shared zip code, your voter registration card will have the specific congressional and senatorial districts you live in, and you can then look up the contact info here:http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/District.aspx.
If there were ever a time to get involved with the legislative process, this would be it! If you have any concerns about the future of your retirement, the impact of these bills, and wish to contact your senator and representative,please do so as soon as possible. As a reminder, please do not use district resources to contact your representative etc.
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