The resolution is directed at the Texas Legislature to show unity in emphasizing the need for change to the current system of over-reliance on statewide high-stakes standardized test scores, which has created many negative effects, according to Winn.
Winn states that the initiative for this resolution began shortly after a Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) conference in January of 2012.
During that conference, former Commissioner of Education Robert Scott addressed TASA members and proclaimed that the accountability system, built around narrowly focused standardized tests that end up as the “be-all, end-all” yardstick for a school’s success, has become a “perversion of its original intent.”
“I come to you on behalf of the students, parents, and educators,” said Winn as she addressed the council. “There is a need for transformation in our Texas public schools, one that fosters innovation, creativity, and a thirst for learning with new, more meaningful assessment and accountability measures.
“With the effectiveness of Texas public schools currently resting primarily on the state-wide, high-stakes standardized test scores, the curriculum has been narrowed to focus less on student’s talents and interests; schools are pressured to focus on test-prep strategies in order to avoid punitive measures by the State; instructional days have been lost due to the increase in required testing dates, and many students are basically losing their love of learning.”
Winn relayed the statistics that to date, 85 percent of Texas school districts representing 91 percent of the students in the state have adopted the resolution. All of the Karnes County school districts and 100 percent of the school districts in Education Service Center Region 3 have adopted the resolution.
“Our own Karnes City ISD board of trustees adopted the resolution a couple of months ago and we are now seeking support from our community organizations and elected officials, in order to show our state legislators the support for our endeavors.
“So tonight I present to you this resolution in hopes that you will join hands with our school district in calling on the Texas Legislature to reexamine the public school accountability system in Texas and to develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments and other external evaluation arrangements that more accurately reflect what students know, appreciate, and can do in terms of rigorous standards essential to their success.”
The council unanimously approved the resolution and personally signed the resolution, as did Mayor Don Tymrak.
“The education dynamic is changing,” said Tymrak to Winn. “I applaud you all for pressing on it.”
In other business, the council passed a resolution regulating subsurface petroleum and natural gas drilling within the territorial limits of the city.
“The ordinance gives instruction for permits, setting restrictions for the drill and how to drill, as well as noise factors and other various aspects of regulation,” said City Administrator Larry Pippen. “This way we can also make sure that wells are not going to be drilled in residential areas and by schools. There are severe rules and regulations we have. It becomes an asset to the city to have them regulate the drilling.”