STAAR is not the measure of good teaching

Teachers are worth more than $27,500 a year

STAAR is not the measure of good teaching, and teachers are worth more than $27,540 a year!

Louis Malfaro, president of the 65,000-member Texas branch of the American Federation of Teachers, commented today on Senate passage of SB 893:

It’s odd that while parents, educators and even a majority of legislators have spoken out against the overemphasis on standardized testing, that the Senate nevertheless has chosen to reinforce the misuse of testing with passage of SB 893.

This bill would grant the commissioner of education a blank check to mandate that school districts use standardized tests scores as a significant component of teacher evaluations, while also killing the longstanding state salary step schedule for teachers. It’s hard to imagine a better way to drive off high quality, veteran teachers than to tell them their minimum pay under state law is now reduced to $27,540 a year. It’s insulting, and it devalues a profession that already is suffering from lackluster pay, crushing health-care costs and an environment that continues to promote teaching to the test.

The great weight of scholarly opinion comes down against the misuse of students’ scores on standardized state tests in teacher evaluation, like the value added methodology (VAM) we have seen in Houston ISD and elsewhere. Promoting the use of evaluations based on VAM is a surefire way to bolster the excessive emphasis on standardized testing in our schools at a time when parents and teachers



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