Superintendent Willis asked to present expert testimony to the Texas House of Representatives: Committee on Public Education on the Scope and Breadth of TEKS.
Hearing on Interim Charge 5. March 26, 2014
Superintendent Willis’ testimony starts at 4:46:00 thru 5:15:00
Review Written Testimony: House Interim Charge
Granger Superintendent to Serve on Commissioner’s
Accountability Policy Advisory Committee (APAC).
From TEA November 26, 2013
Randy Willis, Superintendent
300 N. Colorado, TX
Dear Mr. Willis,
On behalf of Commissioner of Education Michael Williams, I would like to invite you to serve as a member of the Commissioner’s Accountability Policy Advisory Committee (APAC). The purpose of this committee is to provide advice on policy and implementation issues related to the state accountability system for Texas public schools. Recommendations will be sought on rating criteria and accountability standards, as well as options for additional postsecondary readiness measures for inclusion in the system.
The APAC will consist of public school educators, business leaders, school board members, legislative representatives, representatives of higher education; and parents of children attending Texas public schools.
Assessment & Accountability
Texas Education Agency
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Senate Education Committee Hearing
April 2, 2013
SB 1406 CSCOPE
Good morning, my name is Randy Willis, and I am the Superintendent of Schools for Granger Independent School District. Granger is a small school district just east of Georgetown Texas. I have a BS degree from George Washington University, a M.ED From Northwestern State University, and I am currently a student in Doctorial Studies for Educational Leadership at Lamar University where I plan to do my dissertation on the Effects of CSCOPE on Student Performance.
I am testifying against this bill (SB 1406).
I’ve had the opportunity to observe the Senate Committee on Education meetings as well as the House Committee on Education meetings and listened to many hours of testimony over the last two months. I am stunned at how little understanding there is among educators and legislators of the curriculum instructional standards in the state of Texas. There is so much misinformation going around the state about CSCOPE that no one is really asking the right questions on State assessments.
I call to your attention exhibit 1 on curriculum alignment. The State set the standards with the TEKS, and the state tests how well students have learned the state standards with the STAAR and EOC. How we get from point A to point B is the “Taught Curriculum”. That has always been and should remain a local decision by the elected board from the local community. It is up to the local school district to align their taught curriculum to tested curriculum.
Please look now at exhibit 2 – the testable curriculum vs. instructional days. In the 4th column are the days of instruction; in the 5th column are the number of assessed standards that have to be taught. In the 6th column is the average classes a teacher has to teach each standard, and the student has to master the standard. On average in high school, there are 60 standards to be covered in less than 148 days, which comes to and 2.3 classes per standard to teach and master. You are setting teachers and students up for failure with the amount of standards to learn in the amount of time to master them. I am advocating on behave of my teachers and what state is requiring them to do.
So why are so many school district using CSCOPE? Please look at exhibit 3-the cost of standard based lesson development. It will cost my district over $950,000 to write and align 1342 assessed standards in graded 3- 11. Most districts in the state of Texas simply do not have the time, money or personnel to accomplish a massive task this large.
The regional service centers fulfilled their charter responsibility in responding to local districts needs in developing this curriculum tool. We work hand in hand with our local ESC to customize our curriculum needs and this product.
As I originally stated and showed in exhibit 1, the state set the standards with the TEKS, the State tests how well the students have mastered the standards with the STAAR/EOC, and it is the LEA’s decision as to what, when, how, and who we use to teach the taught curriculum.
This bill is a gross infringement into local rule. Just like Texans do not like Washington messing with our state business in Texas, local school districts do not like Austin messing with their school system.
Superintendent of Schools
Granger Independent School District
Partial list of standards expected to be taught
Reporting Category 1: History 8000 BC to AD 1750 - The student will demonstrate an understanding of issues and events in world history from 8000 BC to AD 1750.
(3) History. The student understands the contributions and influence of classical civilizations from 500 BC to AD 600 on subsequent civilizations. The student is expected to
(A) describe the major political, religious/philosophical, and cultural influences of Persia, India, China, Israel, Greece, and Rome, including the development of monotheism, Judaism, and Christianity; Readiness Standard
(B) explain the impact of the fall of Rome on Western Europe; and Supporting Standard
(C) compare the factors that led to the collapse of Rome and Han China. Supporting Standard
(4) History. The student understands how, after the collapse of classical empires, new political, economic, and social systems evolved and expanded from 600 to 1450. The student is expected to
(A) explain the development of Christianity as a unifying social and political factor in medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empire; Readiness Standard
(B) explain the characteristics of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy; Supporting Standard
(C) describe the major characteristics of and the factors contributing to the development of the political/social system of feudalism and the economic system of manorialism; Readiness Standard
(D) explain the political, economic, and social impact of Islam on Europe, Asia, and Africa; Readiness Standard
(E) describe the interactions among Muslim, Christian, and Jewish societies in Europe, Asia, and North Africa; Supporting Standard
(F) describe the interactions between Muslim and Hindu societies in South Asia; Supporting Standard
(G) explain how the Crusades, the Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War, and the Great Schism contributed to the end of medieval Europe; Readiness Standard
(H) summarize the major political, economic, and cultural developments in Tang and Song China and their impact on Eastern Asia; Readiness Standard
(I) explain the development of the slave trade; Supporting Standard
(J) analyze how the Silk Road and the African gold-salt trade facilitated the spread of ideas and trade; and Readiness Standard
(K) summarize the changes resulting from the Mongol invasions of Russia, China, and the Islamic world. Readiness Standard
STAAR World History Page 3 of 14
Texas Education Agency Student Assessment Division Spring 2011