Here are some stories that made education news this week as you started your new school year:
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees Social Security legislation at the federal level, has shared new blog information on the unfairness of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and why it needs to be overhauled by Congress. Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) are now inviting educators, firefighters, and other public employees affected by the WEP to share stories about how they’ve been affected by this unfair provision in law. We at ATPE encourage Texas educators to share their stories with congressional leaders by emailing them to WEP.firstname.lastname@example.org and also check out the committee’s useful new infographics and WEP data here.
The Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability (TCONGAA) has finalized its recommendations and considerations for further study to the governor and state legislature. The commission’s final recommendations include the following:
- Implement an Individualized, Integrated System of Multiple Assessments Using Computerized-Adaptive Testing and Instruction.
- Allow the Commissioner of Education to Approve Locally Developed Writing Assessments.
- Support the Continued Streamlining of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
- Limit State Testing to the Readiness Standards.
- Add College-Readiness Assessments to the Domain IV (Postsecondary Readiness) Indicators and Fund, with State Resources, a Broader Administration of College-Readiness Assessments.
- Align the State Accountability System with ESSA Requirements.
- Eliminate Domain IV (Postsecondary Readiness) from State Accountability Calculations for Elementary Schools.
- Place Greater Emphasis on Growth in Domains I–III in the State Accountability System.
- Retain the Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) Option for Graduation as Allowed by TEC, §28.0258.
View the commission’s full report here. Stay tuned next week on our Teach the Vote blog as ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter will provide complete analysis and our association’s reaction to each of these nine recommendations.
It’s a bittersweet day for ATPE as we bid farewell to one of our veteran team members. ATPE Lobbyist Josh Sanderson is leaving his post in our Governmental Relations department today to become Associate Deputy Executive Director for the Equity Center, a Texas non-profit organization that advocates for school finance equity and adequate public education funding. We at ATPE are grateful to Josh for his decade of outstanding service to our organization, and we wish him all the best in his new endeavors with one of our most respected education allies.