Dr. Heilig–have you read HB300? If you have, you’ll notice it’s not based at all on ALEC’s model legislation that you cite. Does HB300 contain a parent trigger? Yes. But does it contain a whole lot of other components to empower local educators and families? YES. And moreover, HB300 is completely optional for the district. Districts that want more freedom in exchange for family-centered accountability can opt into it. Districts that want to remain under the current system are also free to do so. I don’t expect ANYONE will like 100% of HB300, but if most people can get behind 90% (and I think they can, based on the broad array of co-authors), in my book that’s far superior to one party pushing through education bills that the other side completely detests. Jamie Kohlmann March 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm
My thoughts: Jaime, thank you for your response. Free and open discussion is the key ingredient to the democratic process (and HB300 robocalls apparently). Yes, I have read HB300. I have pondered the ideas contained in HB300 since my phone conversation with Colleen Dippel about the approach many weeks ago.
First, Texas already has optional parent trigger legislation.
Second, I think the majority party should push through all the educational policy bills that they want to push through— it is their prerogative. For the last biennium, they cut $5.4 billion from education and legislated 15 exams for high school students (that add up to 25% of the school year for testing of various types). Considering the current backlash against the funding cuts and high-stakes tests, I do think the public is now finally paying attention to our politicians foibles and their ownership of current educational policy.
Third, on the similarity of HB300 Subchapter E to ALEC’s parent trigger ideas… my mother always says that if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and smells like a duck. It’s a duck.
I did note that there are some tenants of community-based accountability in Subchapter B. I do believe that we need a bottom-up approach to accountability. Honestly, I do like that about HB300. Unfortunately, the idea is sandwiched between allot of ALEC-style choice/market ideology. I have discussed charters extensively here.
My question: I did note that you didn’t respond to the astroturfing discussion. From whom does Texas Families First coalition derive their $1.5 million budget?
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