We're poised to hit the 400 mark today of districts that have passed the Resolution Concerning High Stakes, Standardized Testing of Texas Public School Students. So far, we've heard from 397 school districts (plus Premier Learning Academy Charter School, the Denison Area Chamber of Commerce and the Harris County Department of Education) that have passed the resolution.
Those districts represent nearly 2 million Texas schoolchildren.
As that number continues to grow, we're encouraging districts to take some additional steps to keep the momentum going. Here are some ideas:
- Contact your lawmakers. Send a copy of your board's signed resolution to members of the Texas House and Senate that represent your district. Use the Texas Tribune's elected officials directory to find your lawmakers and get contact information.
- Send a press release to local media outlets. TASA has created a sample press release for districts to use if they wish. Just add your district's name, the date the resolution was passed and a couple of quotes from your superintendent and/or trustees. TASA also has talking points available for media interviews if needed.
- Reach out to your local chambers. Many districts have been partnering with chambers of commerce to talk about standardized testing. There's a natural connection here between the education and business communities and it could be very powerful to have the support of local chambers. TASA has drafted a version of the resolution for chambers and encourages district leaders to ask chamber leadership to consider it.
- Reach out to parents. The Texas PTA is partnering with us to get information out to their councils, including a version of the resolution for PTA councils. Let your PTA groups and/or other parent groups know what's going on and encourage them to pass their own version of the resolution.
- Encourage other districts to pass the resolution. Check out TASA's online list by region of districts that have adopted the resolution. If you're on the list but your neighbor isn't, give them a call and encourage them to join the effort. You may also consider meeting with superintendents in your county or region and sending a letter to lawmakers that outlines your concern with the current accountability system. Bexar County's superintendents recently sent a letter to members of the Texas House and Senate with signatures from all 15 Bexar County superintendents. Read about it here.
Also, Diane Ravitch wrote about the resolution once again in her blog in Education Week. Her post today is about a national resolution drafted by a group of education, civil rights and children's issues organizations and inspired by our Texas resolution. The National Testing Resolution calls on governors, legislatures and state boards of education to re-examine their accountability systems, reduce their reliance on standardized tests, and increase their support for public schools.