Friday, April 08, 2005

Message from Representative Dora Olivo (District 27)

URGENT: Action Plan Attached
April 5, 2005

Dear Friends,

We need your help in getting a hearing set for HB 1612 and 1613 regarding high stakes testing. The bills have been referred to the Public Education Committee, but the bills have not been set for a hearing yet. The deadline to vote a bill out of the Public Education Committee is May 9th and the last day to vote the bills out of the Calendars Committee is May 21st. Senator Leticia Van de Putte is sponsoring these bills on the senate side with SB 1717 and SB 1718.

For those of you who joined us, the conversation and dialogue we had during the video-conference has been the springboard of the legislative action center that you can find on my website, ( I want to thank all who participated in the video-conference. We must continue to strengthen our alliance and continue to broaden the outreach to gain support for passage of these bills. Reforming standardized testing is one of the initiatives outlined by the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) in their joint effort entitled "Closing the Gaps." Both Representative Harold Dutton and myself are representing Texas in this national effort.

Also, please sign up at the website to receive e-mail notices of upcoming events and actions. Working together we can achieve a more accurate way of measuring our children's abilities-by the use of multiple criteria instead of just a single test.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or call my legislative aide Joshua Cinelli at 1-888-777-0033. In Austin 512-463-0494.

Once again we need your help in getting HB 1612 and HB 1613 set for a hearing and passed out of committee. Please look at attached Action Plan.


Dora Olivo

Please Note: Urgent Action Plan

Please contact all the Public Education Committees and ask them to please set HB 1612 & HB 1613 for a hearing and to pass bills out committee.

House Public Education Committee
The Honorable Kent Grusendorf-Chair
Phone: 512.463.0624

Rep. Rene Oliveira (512.463.0640)-Vice Chair
Rep. Dan Branch (512.463.0367)
Rep. Harold Dutton (512.463.0510)
Rep. Anna Mowery (512.463.0608)
Rep. Dianne Delisi(512.463.0630)
Rep. Rob Eissler(512.463.0797)
Rep. Scott Hochberg (512.463.0492)
Rep. Bill. Keffer (512.463.0656)
Senate Education Committee
Chairwoman:The Honorable Florence Shapiro
Phone: 512.463.0108

Sen. Royce West (512.463.0123)-Vice-Chair
Sen. Kim Averitt (512.463.0122)
Sen. Kyle Janek (512 463-0117)
Sen. Steve Ogden (512.463.0105)
Sen. Todd Staples (512.463.0103)
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (512.463.0126)
Sen. Tommy Williams (281.364.9426)
Sen. Judith Zaffirini (512.463.0121)

Also Contact your Representative and your Senator and the following state officials listed below to ask for their support and also get them to contact all members of the House Public Education Committee to set bills for HB 1612 and 1613 for a hearing and to get the bills voted favorably out of committee. Also, have them contact the Senate Public Education Committee to set bills for a hearing on SB 1717 and SB 1718 and vote them favorably out of committee.

Office of the Governor
The Honorable Rick Perry
Phone: 512.463.2000
Citizen's Opinion Hotline: 1-800-252-9600 Office of the Lieutenant Governor
The Honorable David Dewhurst
Phone: 512.463.0001

Speaker of the House
The Honorable Tom Craddick
Phone: 512.463.1000 Texas Education Agency Commissioner
Dr. Shirley Neeley

To Keep things in Perspective:
A part of the poem "Hurry Up, Hurry Up" by Clydia Forehand

There are so many children, from so many places
To test for conformity really erases.
All that they are; all that they dream.
All that they look for and all that they see.

Taught not to question; taught not to ask.
Stay in your seat; stick to the task.
Each one so different; each boy and each girl.
They are lag behind children in a hurry up world.

Please contact Joshua Cinelli ( ) or at
1-888-777-0033 and 512.463.0494 for more information.

The standardized testing reform efforts are part of the Texas Campaign to close the achievement gaps.

1 comment:

  1. Multiple criteria assessment is such an important cause in education right now especially with regard to English language learners. Even the testing corporations themselves have admitted and even encourage their assessments to be just one part of MULTIPLE measures that must be taken into consideration when deciding the academic fate of a student.
    Another way to join la lucha for equity with regard to English language learners is to advocate for them at all levels. This includes paraprofessionals, parents, teachers, campus administrators, central office personnel, community members, and state-level representation. Unfortunately because of the business model mentality of education in Texas, the only sure way to get the attention of those in power, namely our state representation, is going to be to demonstrate the ways that miseducating Latino youth and English language learners is harmful to the business community in Texas. If data can be gathered on the cost of Latino youth dropping out of school, not having access to higher education, and therefore not contributing to the Texas economic base then this will be a factor which would persuade legislators and other state representation to take notice of this growing problem. Another effective way of “winning over” those who are in opposition to equity for minority and ELL’s is to show research and data that supports successes in bilingual and ESL education and provides models for achievement. Participating in conferences such as TABE (Texas Association for Bilingual Education), NABE (National Association for Bilingual Education), and CREDE (Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence) and sharing research and best practices is also an effective tool in the cause for English language learners and minority students. Offering suggestions for consideration and recommendations is also an effective way at “winning over” those in power. This allows for solutions to be considered and not just complaint sessions. English language learners need advocates who have hearts of social justice and who recognize the humanity in every student. The first step in advocating for the rights and dignity of students is to understand that they are more than what is quantifiable and they are more than a scaled cut score on a state assessment.