Tag Archives: Texas

Help Save Texas Public Schools – Texas Ed Tech Advocacy

I do hope you will continue to subscribe to my blog posts at my new blog.  To view the entire post and subscribe to the new blog, please click here: http://pumpuplearning.com/blogs/kimstreasure/help-save-texas-public-schools-texas-ed-tech-advocacy/.

This will be the first post in a new series about the devastating news of a lack of educational funding for 2011-2012. The number of educators affected will easily surpass those in California that were RIFed or had a position that in danger of being cut. Texas has a ‘Rainy Day Fund” that could be used to compensate for the budget deficits although  the Texas legislators don’t want to use this fund to support education. Billions, not just millions, are in danger of being cut or not renewed in a host of areas related to education, primarily educational technology, for the next school year starting in August 2011.

From the Texas Ed Tech Advocacy website:

Position Statement: Save Education and Technology Funding

In 1991, the Texas Legislature created a funding stream of $30 a student1 that is dedicated to equipping our schools with technology and the resources and training to use it.

For nineteen years, this funding stream has helped finance the increasing need to integrate technology into the education of Texas children, as well as provide the technological infrastructure that is required to run a school district in this digital age. These funds help to provide the network, equipment, digital content, Internet access, and professional development that today’s students and teachers need to prepare for tomorrow’s economy.

The 72nd Texas Legislature and every legislature since has known that a dedicated source of funding is needed to assist Texas public schools in implementing the State Board of Education’s Long-Range Plan for Technology.

The plan states:

“The goal in teaching and learning must be to empower young citizens to live and learn in a continuously changing 21st century environment and to enable this citizenry to effectively interact in a global marketplace. The globalization of society creates an educational challenge extending the goals of teaching and learning in the 21st century far beyond the walls of the classroom and confines of a traditional school schedule. It is the responsibility of this state’s leadership to respond to these educational challenges by providing direction, equitable access, and resources to secure the future of the state of Texas and this nation.”2

In the current economic crisis, it is even more important that the legislative leaders provide equitable access to resources that are essential to equipping this generation with the 21st century skills that are necessary to a thriving Texas economy as well as to ensure that students are globally competitive.

We understand that budget shortfalls make it difficult to increase the funding to meet the current needs of schools, but it would destroy the progress that schools have made if the funds area completely eliminated. We must not go backwards!We are asking that the Technology Allotment remain at $30 a student and cuts to Education be minimized. 

 

_____________________________

1 Technology Allotment – Education Code (TEC) Chapter 32 §32.005(B)
2
Long-Range Plan for Technology 2006-2020

To support with an e-Signature:  

e-Signatures will be compiled and sent to Texas Legislators along with the position statement.

ACT TODAY TO PRESERVE OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE.

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“This is a test – just a test – of the Emergency Broadcast System”

All of us have heard or seen the tests conducted by the emergency broadcast system and had there been an actual emergency when we would have been notified of how we were to proceed. I liken this to the approach of testing in Texas. I was reading the post entitled, “Severe Weather Testing Protocols” from the ‘Fractions Speak Louder than Nerds‘ blog. The district I was recently affiliated with was notorious for going overboard on the preparation of the building for the testing environment going to the extent of covering book cases, all posters – even motivational – as they had words on the posters or book spines and those words may help students with something on the test.

Personally, I don’t see that a poster saying, “Be true to yourself” or the 55 Rules of Ron Clark to be testing aids of any kind but hey, you do what you gotta do. Anything that can be prepared for is covered in the 150 page manual that contains the oath that you sign agreeing not to read the contents or commit any act that you shouldn’t or you will be notified of how to proceed as in the tests conducted by the emergency broadcast system.

The extent the educators go to that are mentioned in this fellow blogger’s post about protecting test booklets and materials is humorous. We laugh because we can relate to having to protect, monitor, count, check out, check in, lock up, pass out, collect, alphabetize and many other things that I didn’t name regarding the handling of the testing materials except looking at the test booklets.

If a student throws up or does the unforgivable thing of bending their answer document or even worse- spilling something on their booklet or answer document – all is lost and you are signing away your life on all kinds of forms to prove something bizarre happened and you weren’t just taking a peek at the content of the test. I know TEA loves to receive answer documents or booklets inside of a sealed ziplock bag with vomit or other unknown bodily fluids acting as an adhesive on the pages in the test booklet. I just hope the ziplock bag with the contaminated test materials was sealed before lunch…especially since it may be several weeks before TEA gets the special delivery of dried vomit on a test answer document. How fun is testing in Texas!?!

“This is a test – just a test – of the Emergency Broadcast System”

All of us have heard or seen the tests conducted by the emergency broadcast system and had there been an actual emergency when we would have been notified of how we were to proceed. I liken this to the approach of testing in Texas. I was reading the post entitled, “Severe Weather Testing Protocols” from the ‘Fractions Speak Louder than Nerds’ blog. The district I was recently affiliated with was notorious for going overboard on the preparation of the building for the testing environment going to the extent of covering book cases, all posters – even motivational – as they had words on the posters or book spines and those words may help students with something on the test.

Personally, I don’t see that a poster saying, “Be true to yourself” or the 55 Rules of Ron Clark to be testing aids of any kind but hey, you do what you gotta do. Trainings and simulations of TAKS assessments are drilled into us to prevent being notified of how to proceed in the event of a testing emergency.

The extent the educators go to that are mentioned in this fellow blogger’s post about protecting test booklets and materials is humorous. We laugh because we can relate to having to protect, monitor, count, check out, check in, lock up, pass out, collect, alphabetize and many other things that I didn’t name regarding the handling of the testing materials except looking at the test booklets.

If a student throws up or does the unforgivable thing of bending their answer document or even worse- spilling something on their booklet or answer document – all is lost and you are signing away your life on all kinds of forms to prove something bizarre happened and you weren’t just taking a peek at the content of the test. Don’t you know TEA just loves to receive answer documents or booklets inside of a sealed ziplock bag with vomit or other unknown bodily fluids dried to the pages of the student’s test booklet. I just hope the incident requiring the ziplock bag with the contaminated test materials was sealed before lunch…especially since it may be several weeks before TEA gets the special delivery of dried vomit on a test answer document. How fun is testing in Texas!?!