Updated 4:24 p.m. March 26 – Gooden amendment pulled down after similar amendments failed.
Please call your state representative right away and ask him to support Rep. Lance Gooden’s floor amendment to House Bill (HB) 5 that removes a plan to grade schools with A-F letter grades. The bill will be debated on the House floor today.
HB 5 by Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R–Killeen) is a good bill because it reduces standardized testing requirements and allows for more student graduation choices and career opportunities.
However, it also institutes a new labeling system for districts and campuses based on A-F letter grades instead of the current system of exemplary to unacceptable. This means that a school that is now rated acceptable would be rated a “C” and a school that is unacceptable would be called an F for failure. Students in struggling schools don’t need to be labeled failures.
The Gooden amendment replaces the A-F grading scheme with a more appropriate method that provides parents and their community with more meaningful information on their public schools without giving them a label. The amendment requires an annual one-page summary report, which includes academic, financial and community engagement information in an easy to understandable format comparing individual schools to the state average. Your legislator has been provided a sample report. You can find a copy at teachthevote.org.
ATPE supports HB 5, but opposes assigning letter grades to schools and labeling them as relative failures because doing so would harm the students who attend those schools.
To find contact information for your representative, go to the officeholders page and enter your home address to view your legislator’s profile. The profile contains everything you need to know about your legislator, including contact info.
When you call, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent, an educator and an ATPE member. As always, be respectful and courteous.