This week while the Houston school board was preparing for its next meeting, there was a different kind of meeting going on outside in the cold rain.
“HISD, listen up!”
Dozens of parents, teachers and students marched and chanted in the rain in front of the headquarters for the Houston Independent School District.
The rally was against high stakes testing in HISD.
The importance of those tests was underscored by the ongoing investigation into possible cheating on state exams at two Houston elementary schools.
Gayle Fallon is president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, which organized the rally.
“With the teachers, all we see is if those test scores aren’t good, then they’ll find a reason to try and get rid of you and what that guarantees for your children is that all they’re going to do is test prep.”
Here in Houston test scores help drive teacher bonuses and evaluations.
Janet Izaguirre is a senior at Davis High School and involved with the group Community Voices for Public Education.
She says one of her teachers gets good test scores. But Janet doesn’t consider her a good teacher.
“She only teaches us for 10 minutes, leaves us alone to learn and she will not even stay after school to help us out.”
Teachers and students eventually moved their rally from the cold outdoors to inside the HISD board meeting where they sat and observed quietly.