UPDATE ON TEXAS EDUCATION (LOWV Houston Area Education Fund)
ACCOUNTABILITY: TEXAS PROJECTION MEASURE
TPM: The TPM is part of the accountability system that awards schools credit for students who have actually failed state-mandated tests, but who are expected to pass sometime in the future. Texas state Rep. Scott Hochberg, a Houston area representative and chairman of an appropriations subcommittee overseeing the education budget, was quoted by the American-Statesman as calling the measure “invalid,” and urged education officials to “start from scratch and develop a real measure of the progress students make in schools.” According to the State-Telegram, “when a student fails a test but shows enough gain to make it statistically likely that he or she is on track to pass during the next high-stakes testing period,” the TPM“ counts that student as having passed for school accountability purposes.”2 A Press Release by the HISD dated July 30, 2010, shows new data using the TPM and re-rating schools without the TPM. Data of 2008 reflects 38 Exemplary and 119 Recognized schools. Data for 2009 with TPM shows 84 Exemplary and 121 Recognized schools, while removing TPM leaves only 54 Exemplary and 111 Recognized schools. The difference shown in 2010 data reflects that with TPM, there are 101 Exemplary and 105 Recognized schools. Without TPM, there are only 56 Exemplary and 113 Recognized schools. HISD stated that even without TPM, HISD reflected growth by the number of highly rated schools increasing from 165 Exemplary and Recognized schools in 2009, to 169 in 2010.
This statistical device has magically turned about 450,000 of about 1 million failed TAKS tests last year into “passing” on the basis that the students were likely to pass two or three years later. The number of schools rated as “unacceptable” was more than cut in half, and the number given the top rating of “exemplary” more than doubled. Note: the student didn’t get credit for passing, but their school is shown to be doing a great job. Hochberg has shown that the Texas Projection Measure isn’t a “growth measure” at all, but has a miserable success rate at predicting success...
The statewide 2010 ratings recently released were fantastic, albeit, not credible. Of the 239 school districts that claimed the exemplary rating, only 72 met the standards without administrative help. Use of the TPM more than doubled the number of campuses classified as exemplary. The total went from 1,159 to 2,624 with the added boost. The same was true among the districts and campuses claiming Recognized and Academically Acceptable status. This measurement device is not fair to the children whose school districts and campuses have received a higher rating due to the creative bookkeeping. Students who are not passing the state’s accountability measures are not going to be equipped for college or the workforce. Accountability ratings need to mean something.
The TPM was introduced in 2009. It predicts students’ future TAKS scores in a given subject based ontheir current TAKS scores and on their previous year’s average campus score. If a student fails this year’s TAKS test but is predicted to pass in a future year, the school gets credit as if the student had passed thisyear. Because of the criticism, Commissioner Scott has said the TPM may be eliminated or revised in 2011. Supporters say the concept helps recognize the efforts of schools where students have made academic gains but still fall short of the passing standards.
Commissioner Scott sent a message to school leaders that he is considering doing away with the Texas Projection Measure or changing it for the 2011 accountability ratings. Some educators like the provision because it gives schools credit for how well students are expected to do in the future, while critics contend that it doesn’t give a true assessment of how students are performing.
2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)
CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)