HB 2824 is Alive and Well

I am proud to report that the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium is alive and well. Last week the Texas House of Representatives approved HB 2824 with a unanimous vote. The bill was sent the to Senate and is scheduled to be heard in committee, Thursday, May 16th. Consortium members as well as many other educators and supporters of the Texas Public Schools are in the process of contacting Senators to express their support for final passage of HB 2824.
When that vote to approve takes place and Governor Perry signs HB 2824 into law, the R&D department of the Texas Public Schools System will be in place and ready to tackle the difficult but very important work of developing the our next generation educational delivery system for all public school students in the state of Texas.
I am grateful for the unanimous support from the House of Representatives and Representative Simpson as a co-author of HB 2824. I believe the bill also has broad based support in the Senate and look forward to passage of this very important piece of legislation. I would ask that each of you contact your Senator and express your views on the merits of HB 2824.

HB 2824 Update

House Bill 2824 and the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium

It has been a while since I reported on the progress of the Consortium. The reason is that it has been a while since there has been any new news on the progress in passage of HB 2824. As it stands, HB 2824 was unanimously passed out of the House Public Education Committee on April 25, 2013. The bill has been moved to the Calendars Committee and waits an assigned date to be heard on the House Floor. As of the time of this report, no date has been set for the bill to be heard.
There are two ways that 2824 can make it to the Floor of the House for debate and a vote. The first would be to receive an assigned date from Calendars and be heard as a stand-alone piece of legislation. The second would be to have 2824 attached as an amendment to a bill to be heard on the floor and then be approved along with the other piece of information.
If either of these options takes place and HB 2824 is approved, it will go the Senate Education Committee for the process to start again from the beginning. Hopefully, it will move quickly to the Floor of the Senate, voted on favorably and passed into law to be signed by the Governor.
Worst-case scenario, the bill does not make it to the floor of one chamber or the other and the Consortium is not granted the waivers needed to move away from STAAR/EOC. White Oak ISD will continue to use the teaching strategies we have been training on for the past two years and move forward with the transformation of our classroom instruction. The training you have been provided will benefit students in either setting. Collaborative learning, engaged instruction and the infusion of technology will be critical to the growth of our students and the district regardless of the actions of the legislature.
It is my hope and my belief that HB 2824 will make it’s way through the system and become the law that allows us to explore a much better plan for instruction and assessment for our students. If that is not the case, new legislation that reduces the number of STAAR/EOC exams, assesses on the readiness standards and not the supporting standards and creates multiple pathways to graduation is not a bad fall back plan. These are all bills that have or will pass this session.
It is not my intent to cast a negative slant on the work being done on behalf of the Consortium Schools. My purpose is to keep you informed and as up-to-date as I possibly can. We are far from defeated and at this time there is great support for the bill in the House (4 authors and 27 co-authors). Again, I want to encourage each of you to continue to provide the high quality instruction that is White Oak ISD and we will be ready for whatever comes next as a Consortium District or STAAR/EOC system district.
When you live and work in a place that can pull off an event like Colors-4-Camryn and have a whole community rally around a family in need (733 runners and a total of over $36,000 raised) then TEAMS, TAAS, TAKS, STAAR and EOC will not be an issue for White Oak ISD!!!