TEA wants your input on ESSA, comments due Friday!

tea-logo-header-2This is the final week for educators, parents, and taxpayers to submit their thoughts on best practices for implementing the new federal education law in Texas. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath launched a survey tool last month, asking the public to share input on how the state should implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The survey is scheduled to close this Friday at 5 pm and can be accessed here.

In a press release announcing the survey, Commissioner Morath noted that the new federal education law, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), returns a good portion of control back to states when it comes to the role previously played by the federal government in public education. As Texas begins to look at how its public schools will operate in light of the shift, input is specifically sought around “accountability, funding, school improvement, and grant-making systems.”

U.S. Dept of Education LogoThe new federal law requires that educators and other education stakeholders be involved in developing the plan that will ultimately be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for review, but this may be the only chance for many to provide input. As educators and parents, your hands-on input is valuable; make your voice heard today!

The survey asks respondents to give input on a series of issues that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will weigh as they determine how to navigate new stipulations and flexibility under the law. Among the input sought, stakeholders are asked to share thoughts on how Texas should measure school quality or school success, support the educational success of students with varying backgrounds, increase student access to effective educators, prepare students for college and career, and support struggling schools. The survey also allows respondents to submit any additional input on the state’s ESSA plan that is outside of the information sought.

TEA intends to consider data from the survey as the state develops its ESSA plan. The state must submit a final plan to the federal government by July 2017.

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5 thoughts on “TEA wants your input on ESSA, comments due Friday!

  1. Beverly Igo

    I believe all elected school board members eligibility requirements should be that the School board must not have a child on the high school level. . I have had kids in school for 30 something years and there is to much partiality when teachers and coaches being hired and pressure on other teachers to give school board members special privileges, sports, grades etc. So the schoolboard kids can excel above everyone else. Some are there only for the best interests of their own children’s, not everyone else’s. If they really want to be a school board member for all the children. They would do it when their children where out of school or before school. Most of these member do not run for school board unless their child stands to benefit. There are a few and they have my respect. I have talked with principals and superintendents and teachers and they have told me it’s a big problem? I have seen school officials pressured to give school board members kids and friend’s special treatment. They make them feel pressured. Some teachers and good coaches will not bend. They still play their best players. As a result of school board members child is not playing on the Varsity they will see that the coach is fired and try another one, This is just an example and their is many with grades, etc. and should not be. This maybe not what you where asking for but this is a big problem with our schools and has a trinkel effect on all. BUt it’s Not just sports academics and even those who are nominating kids for special awards. I know this was not exactly what you where wanting to hear but felt like it should be mentioned. However I am sure this is not the first time you have heard this. I also believe that school board members should have education. Some children have more education than the board members. How can they lead education without education. I would also like to see cursive writing back in place. I think a better screening of teachers should be in place. The teachers should have good morals. Unwed mothers, for teachers, alcohol, and drugs, and such are not good roll models for our children. When a teacher hasn’t done something proven wrong with a child, Inapprpriate behaviors, proven or drugs, alcohol, brought into the schools. They should never teach again anywhere. HIgher standards and good citizens and Christian teachers, for teachers will give the children someone to look up to. The children should be able to look up at their school officials and not down.

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  4. Tony

    We need to stop the exploits of teachers ate the district campus level. The ever changing extension of hours of the school day is not the answer to low academic achievement. More is not always better. Quality over quantity is much more important for kids learning.

    It seems that the teacher’s workday continues getting longer 8-3, 7:45-3:15, 7:30-3:30, 7:20-3:45 and so on. Teachers are also chastised and shamed for leaving at the end of the day when the contract allows. Comments are made by administrators at faculty meetings that celebrate teachers who stay until seven and eight at night. Bi-weekly mandatory faculty meetings are added to the teachers workday lasting until 4:30 and 5 and done so with little notice. Additionally teachers are flooded with increasing administrative duties to perform. The seemingly never ending slew of district and state trainings and online web tutorials lasting from an hour to four hours and extending the workload even further for already overworked and exasperated teachers. Keep in mind that all these expectations are prescribed to both 30 year veteran teachers and 1st year teachers out of college equivalently.

    Most teachers are getting a 30 minute lunch which barely allows for them to swallow their food and bolt back across campus. The lunch bell rings but the teacher needs to dismiss their students, answer any questions, quickly tidy up desk for the next class, lock the door, and get to the lunch area. This takes 5 minutes. Once at the lunch room, the teacher gets in line for the microwave, and places a 6 minutes meal in the microwave, which coupled with the waiting in line takes 10 minutes. At this point the teacher has 15 minutes to eat and unwind. But not really because if they need to go to the bathroom they lose additional time. Ultimately, the have little time to eat and unwind all lunches should be at least 45 minutes by law.

    Districts are also freezing pay raises and increasing the cost of healthcare that translates teachers getting paid less every year rather than more. Teachers hurt in the line of duty are expected to use all their local and state personal days before the workmens comp days kick in leaving teachers with no days to attend their own child’s soccer game, music, a doctor’s appointment or car mechanic for necessary repairs without being docked. Also, teachers taking maternity leave have only their personal days to use although some districts allow for six weeks that really is t much. Every day taken beyond teachers yearly allowed 10 days of personal and sick days must be paid by the teacher. If, for any reason, the teacher has any complications and needs to take another week or two, they will see a much lower check the rest of the school year and left to pay their living expenses however they can with a greatly reduced check.

    Employee and employer relationship is not being monitored. There is no negotiation. Changes are made without employee knowledge and/or approval. This is a one sided system that allows districts to exploit their workers and in today’s economy it isn’t easy to quit when you have a family to support but rather one must just grin and bear it to survive. Few across the district take ultra her causes. They are pretty much ignored. When teachers comment on the overwork, they are reminded that they will have Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer vacation to rest.

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