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Upping the Stress: TEA Shifting to More Authority and Power

In the latest bid to improve weak districts, charter schools or campuses the TEA has offered a new proposal. The latest proposal will allow the commissioner of education to increase the intensity of interventions and sections. The latest proposed ruling remarks:

“If a school district, open-enrollment charter school, or campus thereof does not exhibit improvement in student performance, the commissioner of education may increase the intensity of intervention and sanction that would otherwise be required by statute or rule, including ordering campus closure, school district annexation, or appointment of a board of managers for the school district or open-enrollment charter school (Attachment II, New 19 TAC, 2018)”.

The purpose of this requested proposal increases the power of the education commissioner in the matter of a lack of success or improvement for districts, charter schools or campuses. The remarks of the proposal state:

“The commissioner may exercise authority under this section when: (1) a school district, open-enrollment charter school, or campus thereof has exceeded statutory or rule limits on consecutive years of poor performance, excluding any transition provisions allowed under statute or rule; (2) circumstances suggest that the lack of improvement requires an increased level of intervention or sanction, even if the performance in a school year would not otherwise count toward consecutive years of unacceptable performance that would be considered in determining the level of intervention or sanction; or (3) the commissioner determines that increasing the intensity of intervention and sanction would better fulfill the purposes of accreditation statuses and accreditation sanctions established under §97.1053(a) of this title (relating to Purpose) (Attachment II, New 19 TAC, 2018)”.

Finally, the last statements of the proposal clearly indicate the determination for the new power structure. The proposal remarks:

“The commissioner may base the determination that no good cause exists to maintain the current status on any information available to the commissioner and may make the determination at any time (Attachment II, New 19 TAC, 2018)”.

This new proposal will give the commissioner very sharp teeth indeed and is a warning for all districts and building administrator to be aware for the future of district and campus success.

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