Education Nation

Education Nation

A solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America

Study Grades Texas Education Policies a D

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A report card evaluating states policies on education laws says Texas has earned a D -- which in Texas public schools is failing.

    The report was generated by StudentsFirst, an organization whose agenda is to "build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world."

    To that end, the group graded each state in three categories and gave them an A-F letter grade depending on how well the state's polices aligned with the group's agenda.  The categories were how well the state elevated the teaching profession, how well they empowered parents with data and choice and how wisely the state spent money and governed.

    The report card does not address how students are actually peforming, how well a school is ranked or overall teacher performance, rather how state law and policy affects those outcomes.

    No state received an overall grade of A and only two, Louisiana and Florida, earned a B overall. Ten states scored a C overall.

    In Texas, the state earned a D overall with a D+ in Elevate Teaching, an F in Empowering Parents and a D in Spend Wisely and Govern Well.  In Texas public schools, there is no D grade so anythign below a C is failing.

    In an overview, this is where StudentsFirst said Texas could improve:

    "Texas has much to improve on in its current education policies. The state has created multiple alternative pathways for aspiring teachers and has adopted a strong system of accountability for these preparation programs. But the state has not yet adopted a better evaluation system, preventing districts from identifying, developing, and retaining effective educators. Texas does not prohibit seniority from driving layoff decisions, placing effective teachers at risk. The state should also free teachers locked into its existing outdated pension system by offering more attractive, portable retirement options. While the state has a robust fiscal performance system in place, Texas must better inform parents by giving them meaningful school performance information. The state must also remove its arbitrary cap on charter school establishment and focus on the growth of high-performing charter schools through rigorous accountability. Finally, Texas should grant authority for mayors to take control in districts that are not meeting expectations."

    Overall, Texas ranked 30th.  See the report card here for all 50 states.