STAAR Report Card Webinar

Explore the new STAAR report card with Texas PTA next week during a one-hour webinar with the Texas Education Agency. We’ll also review the brand new TexasAssessment.com.

When: Thursday, Oct. 19 at noon

The new STAAR Report Card gives parents a more in-depth look at their child’s academic strengths and areas for improvement so they can be an even stronger partner in their child’s learning. Once parents log into the new website, they’ll be able to see the actual test questions from the test, their child’s answers, and the correct answer if they answered incorrectly. The new site also provides information on boosting reading levels, questions to ask their child’s teachers, interactive videos and more.

There are many ways to measure student learning, and STAAR isn’t meant to tell the whole story. When combined with a student’s grades and teacher feedback, parents can use STAAR results to get a complete picture of their child’s progress.

Register

You Made the Difference!

Dear PTA Advocates,

Once again and with your help, Texas PTA was instrumental in stopping the passage of legislation to create a voucher program in Texas. Our message continues to be, “Focus on strengthening our public schools! All students benefit from that goal.”

We made small, but important progress to begin to reform our outdated, inequitable and inadequate school finance system during the Special Legislative Session that lasted for 30 days this summer. HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty, created a grant program to provide extra support for students with dyslexia and autism, removed a penalty in funding for very small school districts, created a step-down to help some districts to adjust to the loss of specialized funding they had been receiving since 2006, and created a commission to develop recommendations for school finance reform that can be considered in the next Legislative Session that will begin in January of 2019.

While we did not see the progress in reforming our school funding system that we were hoping for, we made great progress in educating legislators about the fact that as property values rise and homeowners pay more in taxes, the state, for at least 10 years, has been using those increased revenues to offset their share of the cost of public education so that they now contribute less than 32% of the cost of education in Texas. This cannot continue. The state must increase its share of funding for public schools and must fund schools equitably. We will continue to work toward this goal.

Thanks again for making a difference,

Texas PTA Board of Directors and Staff
Texas PTA Advocacy Committee

Parent Survey on HB5

If you have an entering 9-12 student, please consider taking a few minutes to complete the following survey relating to endorsement selection.

  • The ways in which information about your students’ endorsement selection process is transmitted to you
  • How effective you feel the information you are receiving is to your ability to support your child’s decision making
Take Survey

Texas PTA School Accountability System Survey

Complete the survey concerning school accountability by midnight tonight (23-JAN-17).

As a reminder, the 84th Legislature passed HB 2804, changing the school accountability system so every campus and district receives one of five ratings from A – F. The law requires schools and districts to be graded based on five different areas of performance or “domains,” and those five grades must be combined into a single overall rating.

The following are A – F domains:

I: Student Achievement

II: Student Progress

III: Closing the Gaps

IV: Postsecondary Readiness

V: Community and Student Engagement

For more information on A – F or HB 2804, go to
http://tea.texas.gov/A-F/ or http://tea.texas.gov/2804implementation.aspx

Take the Survey

Provide Input on STARR Student Report

Texas PTA members are encouraged to go to the link below and complete the survey regarding STAAR’s CSR – Confidential Student Report. The CSR is used by parents, teachers, and students to communicate a student’s acquisition of the knowledge and skills required to be taught in Texas public schools. Student academic performance is measured in required grades and subject areas using the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) in grades 3-8 and high school. The CSR serves as an important communication tool that enables collaboration and cooperation between a student’s school and home.

Provide Input

 

2016 STARR Report

2016 STAAR Confidential Student Report

2017 STARR Report

2017 STAAR Confidential Student Report

Texas PTA 2017 Legislative Priorities

Priorities: 85th Texas Legislative Session

  • Public School Funding – Pursue an adequate and equitable solution for school funding while maintaining accountability and responsibility for educating the whole child. In addition, Texas PTA advocates for funding for enrollment growth.
  • Powdered Alcohol – Pursue banning the sale to minors of powdered alcohol, or Palcohol, a powder that can be mixed with liquids — similar to the way Kool-Aid is mixed with water — to create an alcoholic beverage that can have alcohol levels equivalent to a shot of vodka.
  • Bullying/Cyberbullying – Strengthen the cyberbullying law to protect students from online, often anonymous, bullying by clarifying the role of school districts in addressing this behavior, and removing barriers to law enforcement’s ability to deal with offenders.
  • Funding for Quality Pre-K Grant Program
  • Funding for Full Day Pre-K for at-risk students
  • State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) – Advocate for reduced emphasis on state-mandated testing, focusing on grades 3-8, and monitor changes to STAAR for high school students, and limits on benchmark testing for all tested grades.
  • State Accountability System – Pursue a new accountability system that is valid, reliable and balanced, focuses less on state assessment, and recognizes other attributes of a strong school program, including arts instruction and physical activity.
  • Age of Adult Criminal Responsibility – Raise the age for mandatory prosecution as an adult from 17 to 18, allowing non-violent offenders who are 17 years of age to be charged as a minor.
  • Districts of Innovation – Oppose efforts to take away latitude of Districts of Innovation to set their own school calendar.
  • Vouchers – Oppose vouchers, including Education Account Savings Programs that allow parents to apply for an education savings account. A portion of the funds the state expends for that student’s public school education is deposited into the account. The remained of the funds are kept by the public school the student previously attended. Money in the education savings account may be used to fund private school tuition, tuition at eligible institutions, distance education, curriculum.
  • State Board of Education – Actively weigh in on legislation impacting SBOE and monitor activity of SBOE in its quarterly meetings.

Texas PTA Survey

Texas A&M University is working collaboratively with Texas PTA to survey our members concerning HB 5 Endorsement Selection. As you may recall, Texas PTA was instrumental in the passage of HB 5, so we are committed to its success. This is a voluntary, anonymous survey. By completing it, your responses will provide invaluable information regarding:
Under the Dome

  1. The ways in which information about your middle and high school students’ endorsement selection process is transmitted to you
  2. How effective you feel the information you are receiving is to your ability to support your child’s decision making.

Deadline: 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Completing this survey is one more way you can back the future!

Survey

SBOE Seeks Your Input

The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is seeking input from the public on the STAAR Assessment Program and the state’s accountability program with the goal of gathering suggestions for future program development.

The survey is open through June 30.

English Spanish


History

From October 2015 to March 2016, SBOE members held several Community Conversations around the state. The issues raised during the community meetings are addressed in the survey.

“Our constituents often talk to board members about testing and school ratings issues,” said Donna Bahorich, chair of the SBOE. “I felt it was also important for board members to have in-depth discussions to learn what educators, parents, business people and others want from these two high profile programs. I believe our findings will be useful in shaping the next generation systems.”

Information gathered from the survey and Community Conversations will be compiled into a report and presented to the SBOE during its July 19-22 meeting. Once adopted, the report will be provided to legislative leaders and the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability.

The 15-member commission, created by the Texas Legislature, is to make recommendations for statutory changes to the state’s assessment and accountability systems. The commission report is to be submitted to the governor and legislature by Sept.1.

Read comments from the Community Conversations, you can check them out here.

Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability.

PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE RULING

TEXAS PTA’S STATEMENT ON PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE RULING

Under the Dome“We concur with Justice Willett and Justice Guzman that there is much work to be done,” stated Lisa Holbrook, President of Texas PTA. “In the words of Justice Guzman, ‘While the constitution requires the system be merely good enough, that does not mean that our system is good, or that it will continue to be enough.’ We must continue to improve our system of education. We cannot do less,” she added.

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its ruling on the constitutionality of Texas’ system of funding public schools, determining that while, “undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement,” it is constitutional.

While the ruling means that the Texas Legislature will have no mandate to make any changes to the state’s funding system, it is clear from Justice Willett’s opinion that, “Texas’ 5 million students deserve transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than a Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid,” and from Justice Guzman’s concurring opinion that, “There is much work to be done to improve our public school system, particularly for the population that represents the majority of the student base — economically disadvantaged students,” that the Texas Supreme Court in no way endorsed our current system as the best it can be.

“Texas PTA vows to continue to work with legislators and other advocates to create a system that is fair and that gives all students the education they deserve. We must come together — parents, school leaders, policy-makers — to craft a solution that affords every student the opportunity to achieve his/her dreams through education,” stated Holbrook. “We must not take this ruling as permission to ignore the problems we know exist in our public school system.”

National PTA Benefits

National PTA Benefits - 2015

Texas PTA Benefits