Monthly Archives: July 2011

State Board of Education Resumes Fight Over Science Instruction

The far-right faction on the State Board of Education, led by Gov. Rick Perry’s new appointee as Board chair, once again will have a chance this week to smuggle some unscientific perspectives into instructional materials for science used in Texas … Continue reading

Posted in Board of Education, Rick Perry | Leave a comment

Elections Matter—A Message and New Resources From AFT

Texas educators are not alone in bearing the brunt of harsh, coordinated attacks on core public services and the people who provide those services. The same thing has been happening in state after state and at the national level. The … Continue reading

Posted in Elections | Leave a comment

Everyday Heroism: Charles “C.J.” Johnson, Paraprofessional Safety Worker, North Dallas High School, Alliance-AFT, Local 2260

A fifth-grade teacher from Connecticut and a New York teacher who carried her activist spirit with her into retirement in Florida were among the everyday heroes honored this week at the AFT TEACH professional-issues conference in the nation’s capital this … Continue reading

Posted in AFT, Local Unions, PSRPs | Leave a comment

The “Other” Education Cuts

The 2011 Texas legislature did not stop at cutting formula aid for school districts by $4 billion over the next two years. Lawmakers also approved as part of the 2012-2013 budget some $1.4 billion in additional cuts, in some cases … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Funding, Legislature, Resources, Schoolchildren, Teachers | Leave a comment

Unheralded Wins for Schoolchildren and Educators in the 2011 Legislature

You already know the big picture coming out of the 2011 regular and special sessions of the Texas legislature:  deep and unnecessary budget cuts in public education, with those cuts then used as a phony rationale for attacks on educators’ … Continue reading

Posted in Certification, Charter Schools, Evaluations, Health Care, Legislature, Safe Schools, Teachers | Leave a comment

AFT President Challenges Self-Styled Reformers, Lays Out a Real Reform Agenda

In her July 11 keynote speech at AFT’s biennial educational-issues conference in Washington, D.C., AFT President Randi Weingarten called for education reform worthy of the name–based on quality teaching, with continuous teacher development, rich and meaningful curriculum, and the best … Continue reading

Posted in AFT, Randi Weingarten, Reports, Teachers | Leave a comment

Be Forewarned: Schools May Have Done Better in 2011, Yet Ratings May Drop

State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff, Republican of Mount Pleasant, has come out with a timely warning of what to expect from state accountability ratings for 2011 due out later this month. Ratliff is a moderate politically, but he … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability System, Legislature, SBOE, Testing | Leave a comment

Notable TRS Funding Legislation of 2011

The folks calling the shots at the state capitol profess to be full of tender solicitude for the teachers and other school employees who, after a career in service to the schoolchildren of our state, now depend on Teacher Retirement … Continue reading

Posted in Health Care, Legislature, Pensions, TRS | Leave a comment

Social Security Fairness—Status Report

The 2011 edition of the Social Security Fairness Act is H.R. 1332, introduced on April 1 by a bipartisan pair of Californians in the U.S. House.  Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon and Democratic Rep. Howard Berman already have attracted as … Continue reading

Posted in Social Security, U.S. Congress | Leave a comment

Austin Follies: Governor Names New Far-Right Chair of State Board of Education

In 2009, the Texas Senate ousted Don McLeroy, the governor’s appointee as chair of the State Board of Education, because of McLeroy’s ideological zealotry and heavy-handed tactics in pursuit of a far-right agenda for Texas public schools. Gov. Rick Perry … Continue reading

Posted in Board of Education, Rick Perry | Leave a comment