TX Rep. James White Wants Meeting with No Child Left Behind Architect after "Squealing" Comment
by David Bellow on August 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM
Texas State Representative James White, a former educator, has released a statement calling out Sandy Kress, an architect of NCLB, for saying that Texas is squealing after the federal government released a report about Texas Education. Rep. White says that Kress has no experience as an educator or a legislator, so his criticism means nothing if there is no constructive discussion of how to actually implement these standards. That is why Rep. James White wants to meet with Kress to discuss the situation in a productive manner. Rep. White goes even further to say that Texas is in the middle of implementing our own state standards that are even tougher than the federal government so why should we follow the federal government's standards and ratings when the federal government cannot even correctly evaluate its fiscal standing.
Read the full statement from Texas State Representative James White below:
Rep. James White issues statement on school performance ratings and No Child Left Behind
(Austin, Texas) – August 13, 2012 – Last week, the federal government released its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) ratings for public school districts and campuses in Texas. Under the federal-mandated No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the AYP is supposed to be the key measurement of academic performance for school districts and campuses. Based on these ratings, more than half of our campuses failed to meet the federal government's AYP standard for this year. Just days before the start of school, these ratings have added a level of concern, confusion, and uncertainty.
Sandy Kress, one of the so-called architects of the NCLB, has characterized the comments from Texas elected officials and local educators concerning the AYP report as "squealing." This is an unfortunate remark. Usually when someone uses the term squealing, the person possesses personal experiences that provide a level of legitimacy. Mr. Kress has a personal history that includes formulating education policy, but not really executing or implementing it. He has not been a public school educator or elected lawmaker. I am extending an invitation to Mr. Kress to come visit with me and substantively talk about public education. Before the people of East Texas elected me to the Texas Legislature the first time in 2010, I was a public school classroom teacher for 17 years. In fact, during my teaching career, I executed many of the programs conceived by Mr. Kress: TAAS, TAKS, NCLB, et al.
In light of the release of the AYP ratings, it is not squealing, but the desire for clarity and meaning that Mr. Kress is hearing. First, everyone knows that we are in the process of validating a new accountability tool that is touted as being more rigorous and demanding (and that should be welcomed). But beyond that, should anyone even take these ratings seriously. This is the same federal government that fails to evaluate its fiscal standing and due to political dysfunction, the Congress and the President cannot even come to an agreement on extending the NCLB. The people of Texas have not demanded federal management of their local school districts and the Constitution does not mandate it.
I look forward to a constructive conversation with Mr. Sandy Kress, not gratuitous remarks, about the employment of effective, efficient, and meaningful accountability tools and measures that provide our parents and students optimum liberty within the confines and constructs of our state constitution and laws.