Teachers in Texas recently participated in a public education rally. They were joined by parents, students as well as their retired colleagues on the steps of the Texas Capital. The goal of the rally was to inform the public about issues affecting public education in the state. These problems include unfunded teacher pay raises, standardized testing, insufficient public education funds as well as school vouchers.
The rally attracted teachers belonging to different teacher associations. All the associations present signed a letter to the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and Joe Straus, the Speaker of the House. The letter was meant to seek corporation from the government on matters concerning education. Texans for Public Education rates political leaders based on their education stance. The founder of the association, Troy Reynolds, said that he won’t allow party affiliation to get in the way of the democratic rights of teachers. He also asked the audience to vote leaders who support public education.
In Texas, students are required to pass a standardized test to qualify for a high school diploma. During the public school rally, the speakers and protestors denounced the standardized testing system. Also, they expressed their dissatisfaction for STAAR testing results. Many parents and teachers asserted that the Texas Education Agency doesn’t provide accurate results. The agency deceives the public with “clever psychometrics.”
Vouchers are just like coupons. Parents can use them to enroll their kids in their desired schools. However, some parents aren’t happy with the way school vouchers are handled. Mara Laviola, one of the parents at the rally, shared her opinion on voucher schemes. She doesn’t support public school vouchers because most children with disabilities don’t benefit from them. The majority of these kids attend private learning institutions, so they can’t use the vouchers. Laviola suggested that all children in Texas should be given equal opportunities.