And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holding on to Hope

I wanted to update you on what's been happening in the world of Texas math. 

I spoke to Tom Maynard today, Chair of the SBOE Committee on Instruction. Many of you sent e-mails encouraging him to ask Commissioner Williams to suspend district and teacher accountability for the STAAR Math test in grades 3-8 this year. Thank you. He said he got a lot of e-mails. 

As a result of your efforts, he understands the high level of concern, and he has contacted Commissioner Williams to request the Commissioner provide TEA staff and resources to organize a group of stakeholders made up of one teacher and one parent from each of the 15 SBOE districts. 

He is waiting on Commissioner Williams to get back with him to let him know if he will agree to this. The slight hiccup to this progress is that Greg Abbott has recently been named Governor-elect. As Governor, Mr. Abbott appoints the Commissioner of Education, which means that come January 1st, Commissioner Williams may or may not have a job. The outcome of that decision may affect progress with the stakeholders group. 

The good news is some State Representatives have also heard your concerns and are working toward possible solutions as well. One possible solution suggested is to go directly to the Commissioner's boss, and ask Greg Abbott to suspend the assessment accountability. 

Last Friday, I was given the special opportunity to provide one of our State Reps with a two page narrative describing this need. The representative had gotten one of Abbott's policy advisors to agree to present the narrative to Governor-elect Abbott. I prepared the narrative and sent it to the proper person. I was told I should hear something next week regarding how Abbott reacts when he lays eyes on it. 

I feel like we are holding our breath right now, but really we are holding on to something better - hope.

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