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Letter: Williams should take ownership of STAAR

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I found the problem with STAAR, OWNERSHIP!!! I returned to Austin to present my petition that I have been working on requiring elected and appointed officials to take the STAAR test. I was encouraged by the conversation and tone our senators were taking. Then the Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, an attorney, gave his testimony. I found his statements disappointing, troubling and unproductive. Primarily because of his complete lack of ownership in the test his department developed. His audacity to quickly lay the blame for the high failure rates solely at the feet of our educators and children was shocking.

This highlighted the adversarial role between our educators and the TEA and reinforced my conviction to see this unproductive relationship dismantled. Think how beneficial the STAAR test could be if we demanded its results were used to target the needs of students, teachers and schools. I was once one of those kids that would’ve had trouble with these tests. I was given a diagnostic test that determined I have dyslexia.  That test did not punish me or my teacher for my disability it got me the help I so desperately needed. I’m eternally grateful for the educational gift I was given.
What I said before the Texas education committee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwybPAGFVb0 Mr. Williams spoke 2 hours and 5 min. into the meeting. I spoke at 4 hours and 1 min. into the meeting. You can fast forward: http://tlcsenate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=8635

 

Bret Wooten
Lewisville, TX

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