Will Texas’ attempt to shake up school finance lead to higher stakes for standardized tests?
Top Texas lawmakers this year are proposing allocating billions of more dollars for public schools, but a portion of those dollars will likely have strings attached. And some education advocates worry the strings will lead to an even greater emphasis being placed on standardized tests in the state.
In various appearances at press conferences and speeches in Austin last week, the state’s top Republican leaders signaled their support for giving more money to school districts that show higher performance or agree to offer specific programs such as merit pay for teachers. One of their main messages: Schools do need more money, but they have to show they know how to use it wisely.
Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have said they want to avoid “throwing” money at schools without demanding better results. New House Speaker Dennis Bonnen called for increasing public education funding while getting a “return on that investment. And that return is producing children who can read, write and do math.”