What can we learn from the failing marks given to Texas schools by the federal government? Nothing really. The reported failures of Texas schools are based off the “virtually useless” STAAR test. But don’t expect that to deter state and local educrats from using it to call for more money.
According to the Dallas Morning News, 876 school districts across the state failed to make “Adequate Yearly Progress” in student achievement, prompting the federal government to give the state a failing grade.
The evaluations, however, were based off performance on the STAAR test – a statewide assessment exam with a reported “glitch” that a University of Texas researcher thinks makes the test “virtually useless.” The state is paying $500 million through 2015 to administer the STAAR test.
So after raising achievement standards on a virtually useless exam, the federal government knows how our schools are performing just about as well as we do – which is to say, not well at all.
But despite the apparent worthlessness of our current accountability standards, state and local educrats are still going to call for more money.
Just two days ago, the Texas American Federation of Teachers called on state lawmakers to “restore all budget cuts made to public education” in light of higher sales tax revenue. Only with the government is the notion of a reduction in the growth of spending seriously considered a “cut.”
With skewed achievement results coming from the federal government, their cries will turn into shrills heading into the next legislative session.
It’s important conservatives don’t get sucked into a false narrative: Either pump more money into the system, or set up our public schools for more failure.
Instead, conservatives should be asking why the performance of our school districts are so dismal, despite the vast amount of money that’s already been pumped in.
Remember, over the last 10 years, enrollment growth has increased 20%. Over that same time, legislators have increased funding for public education by 95%!
How much more money will it finally take to see some results? We can’t afford to find out. We need real accountability coupled with more efficient spending, not solutions promoting the status quo.