Hello SAISD Parents,
Today I would like to go over how the politicians that we thought we're on our side have made changes to HB3. In the 86th legislation, HB3 gave our teachers a much-needed raise, but like most laws, there is always a catch 22 or loophole. The news of our teachers getting a raise was one that many of us felt was long overdue. As we were celebrating our victory, the Lieutenant Governor and the Educational committees in both houses started having late-night meetings to change HB3 secretly. Now, one must remember that what you do in the night will one day come to light, so let's turn on the lights because it's time to see what's behind HB3.
First, I want you all to know that HB3 was something that many people worked on to include input from superintendents, parents, teachers, and educational advocacy groups. This past 86th legislation was filled with many educational laws. For the first time, our educational committees asked the public to give their testimony on how the STARR’S testing has caused adverse effects on our children and their schools. The bottom line was that after much consideration, politicians decided to do what they thought was best, which was to change the STARR'S Testing. The teachers got their raises, but at what cost, because with these new changes also comes a new curriculum, along with different teaching techniques. As we read deeper into HB3, we can see the significant changes in the way our children learn or take the STARR'S testing.
Then to understand these changes, we must look at HB 3906, which addresses the issues and problems with the STARR'S testing that educators brought up in their testimonies. The Texas Lieutenant Governor has now said we heard from you, and soon we will fix this our way, which will begin in 2021. The writing test will be taken out of the 4th and 7th grade instead of the extended Writing test; the student will now answer short answer questions in their Reading tests, which will be done in a shorter time of 60-90 minutes. The next change is the test will be broken down into three days and no testing allowed on Mondays. Then in 2022, online testing will be available for all STARR tests and for all students to utilize. Next, TEA wants schools to incorporate blended learning in their classrooms, which means that the students will be taught by both the teacher and an online program. The idea behind this is that it will allow teachers to monitor how well students are learning online and in the classroom. If, after looking at the scores, the teachers feel that some students aren't doing well in the classroom, then the teacher will take those students aside and do more face time teaching so that they can catch up to the others. The students that are working well with the online curriculum will remain on the computers until the other students can catch up.
I feel that this might create some controversy between the students as some might make negative comments towards the other students that are being pulled aside in the class. In turn, this could cause more problems for teachers to deal with in their classrooms. So, teachers know that my heart goes out to all of you because this pay raise is one that comes with more work, extra hours, and more stress for both you and our children.
So, parents, I am asking that all of you take a moment to consider what our teachers go through every day, and also remember teachers have lives that they often put aside to help our children. In today's society, teachers and parents need to be the glue that binds our children together to insure that all children are able to become academically successful. If you have any questions please email me.
Have a Blessed Week,