Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

February 1, 2007

It’s the money that matters

Filed under: education, Education Finance, Education reform, Texas — texased @ 6:41 pm

Texans for Excellence in the Classroom Unveils 2007 Education Recommendations | Excellence in the Classroom:

The report recommends strengthened standards and coursework aligned with those standards; improved collection of education data; improved tools to measure academic progress; dramatically improved teacher evaluation methods; increased pay for highly effective teachers; support for teachers through enhanced professional development; removal of persistently ineffective teachers; improved principal leadership; and improved teacher preparation.

I’m not impressed. I actually broke down and skimmed the 15 page report. It does make some very good, very specific suggestions. But ultimately it wimps out because it fails to address how these programs should be funded.

We propose that funds be appropriated for TEA to develop and implement within two years PEIMS II, the second generation of the PEIMS system. pg 5

We propose that the state develop a growth model incorporating the best elements of these models, and implement a system that could be used both for school accountability as well as the evaluation of teacher effectiveness. The state should pay for and create incentives for this model to be used by local districts. pg 6

Necessary funds should be appropriated to the TEA to utilize the best available expertise and resources to develop within one year the essential criteria of a solid evaluation system and an actual model evaluation system. pg 7

The legislature should commit to provide additional funding to districts that have adopted such systems to pay more for highly effective teachers as soon as the new evaluation methods are operational for identifying highly effective teachers. pg 8

Local districts would be encouraged to utilize programs that are deemed most effective and would be provided additional funds or services, as was the case with the Reading Initiative, for professional development programs determined effective by the Best Practices Clearinghouse. pg 10.

Notice a pattern here?

There’s nothing wrong with the recommendations. They’re just useless without addressing the finance issue. What we really need is a Governor’s Business Council report on how the legislature should finance public education in Texas. That would be a report worth reading.

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