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Posts Tagged ‘Children at Risk’

House bill 2476 is a critical bill for children

Posted by Texas Education on April 28, 2009

This in from Children at Risk:

House bill 2476, by Representative Dora Olivo, will be heard TODAY in the House Public Education committee. We urge you to contact members of the House Public Education Committee, and in particular Chairman Rob Eissler, to express your support of this bill immediately!  Specifically request that they vote the bill favorably from committee.  By doing so, the bill will more quickly make its way to the House Floor.

House bill 2476 is a critical bill for children this 81st Texas Legislative Session because it improves discipline strategies in public schools by mandating staff development in effective discipline strategies.  Such training will empower teachers with conflict resolution techniques, positive behavior management, classroom management, and intervention strategies for students exhibiting behavioral difficulties.  The bill also requires that data be reported on how many students each school refers to disciplinary alternative education program.  Collecting this information will allow districts to idenitfy where staff training is most needed.

You can help ensure that HB 2476 makes it to the House Floor, by contacting members of the committee in support of this important bill.  This is a critical step in the legislative process, and we need your help to ensure HB 2476 gets passed this session!

Talking Points: I support HB 2476 because it it improves discipline strategies in public schools by require staff development in effective discipline strategies.
Students referred to alternative disciplinary settings have five times the dropout rate of mainstream schools and one in three juveniles sent to the Texas Youth Commission are school dropouts.This bill will encourage the commissioner to develop and make available age-appropriate disciplinary management training for teachers at all grade levels that includes: conflict resolution techniques, positive behavior management, class management, and intervention strategies for students exhibiting behavioral difficulties.By equipping teachers and school administrators with training in areas that focus on how to identify the causes of and potential solutions to behavioral problems, as well as how to effectively communicate with students and their parents, the likelihood of behavior escalating to referable offenses may be decreased. In improving its approach to disciplinary management, Texas can increase the chances that its students will graduate from high school and succeed in life.

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Tell-A-Friend: Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this. Tell-a-Friend! What’s At Stake: Zero tolerance policies in Texas schools have caused thousands of juveniles to be removed from their classrooms and sent to alternative disciplinary settings. As a result of these alternative placements, many students fall behind their peers academically and are led to the criminal justice system.

FACTS:

  • Texas pays approximately $164 more per person to support a dropout each year than to educate them while that child was in school.
  • Among “risk factors” commonly associated with future involvement in the juvenile justice system, the most important predictor is a history of school disciplinary referrals.

HB 2476 is consistent with CHILDREN AT RISK’s recommended policy changes to:

  • Require staff development programs to include training in discipline strategies, including classroom management, district discipline policies, and the student code of conduct.
  • Encourage the commissioner to develop and make available age-appropriate disciplinary management training for teachers at all grade levels that includes: conflict resolution techniques, positive behavior management, class management, and intervention strategies for students exhibiting behavioral difficulties.
  • Improve data collection of discipline management stategies.

Campaign Expiration Date: May 1, 2009

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Texas waives penalty for schools with high drop out rates

Posted by Texas Education on July 24, 2008

I’m sorry, I’m all for our schools getting a break, ie: why I’m here. BUT, I’m also a realist, and I’m also for our schools being held accountable. Yes, I normally side with the schools, raw deals from the Lege, etc. But I’m not for them getting away with corruption, greed or laziness. This smacks of letting schools off the hook. This is how we get into some of the messes we are into. Letting things…slide. I’m hearing mixed signals here. I say to Commissioner Scott, stand up, keep schools accountable. Maybe I’m getting tougher in my old age, I don’t know. for full story

For the second year in a row, Texas schools with high dropout rates will escape landing on the state’s dreaded unacceptable list thanks to a free pass from state Education Commissioner Robert Scott.

Prompted by nervous school leaders, Scott said he is giving districts another year to adjust to the state’s tougher dropout standard before labeling them “academically unacceptable” for falling short.

Scott’s waiver — which pleased some school superintendents — prompted frustration Wednesday from the state’s two key education lawmakers, who said districts need to be held accountable for dropouts.

“I’m disappointed,” said Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “Right now we are studying accountability, and as we put a waiver in at this moment in time, we are lessening the rigor and effectiveness of our accountability system.”

I like what Bob Sanborn, a Houston education activist and researcher, says:

“The graduation rate is probably one of the clearest forms of rating performance,” said Sanborn, who heads the non-profit Children at Risk. “And the longer that we hide behind this facade of graduation rates don’t need to count, the longer it will take for us to start reforming our schools.”

Additional reading on this subject, AGENDA FOR STRENGTHENING URBAN EDUCATION

CHILDREN AT RISK has worked to improve graduation rates in Houston and throughout Texas. CHILDREN AT RISK in collaboration with stakeholders at the national, state, and local level share a sense of urgency to address the education crisis that continues to affect Texas. If Texans fail to act and strengthen public education we risk undermining the economic opportunity of the state.

To keep Texas strong, we must take action to reshape our educational system. The goal of CHILDREN AT RISK is straightforward – to create the opportunity for every child to improve the condition of their existence. Through strengthening education, CHILDREN AT RISK strives to cultivate an educated citizenry of self-sufficient individuals who are lifelong learners thriving in the workplace.

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Superintendent of Northside ISD says it best!

Posted by Texas Education on June 11, 2008

I noticed in the Tribune today, where Jennifer Bernard says we should all write our legislative officials and demand change. Well, I would think they know by now our problems, wouldn’t you? No, the answer is not telling them what THEY need to do, it’s what WE need to do. We need to elect a legislature that understands our need to have proper funding for our children, for our teachers, for our schools. Ask them, talk to them. Last year I attended a forum for “Children at Risk” where the superintendent of Houston ISD – Abelardo Saavedra, Scott Hochberg, our own Dr. Sconzo and numerous others were guest speakers. I asked Mr. Hochberg why the state is not funding our schools better, and this was way before I know what we all know now, and his reply was, that he was told by those above him that they didn’t feel that it was the states job. What??? So, herein lies the problem, in my books (again, no pun.) We HAVE to elect those who really care about our schools, and care about giving them the proper funding, tools and support they so sorely need. Get educated as to who has our childrens’ best interest at heart. We can no longer go on this way. The Observer and the Tribune all have people crying about their sports, electives, etc. getting cut and we just can’t have that. Well, the board has no other alternative. In some of our own households people are making the decision to buy milk or by gas, and fellas, I believe, we have not seen the worst yet. Yes, we need to get fired up, but WE need to do something about it. If they have not been able to fix our crisis by now, they never will. Please educate yourselves, find out what our elected officials have voted for, or against, when it comes to schools, school financing, budgets, etc. As responsible adults, parents, communities, we can all do something. Let’s just hope it’s not too late. We still have the next year to tighten our belts, and even then, there are no guarantees.

John M. Folks Jr. is superintendent of the Northside Independent School District explains our crisis very well. As I’ve heard our very own Dr. Sconzo tout it often. This, of course, was taken from the Humble ISD’s website.

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