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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Hammond’

More education policy from Davis

A lot to like here. Saying she wants to expand Texas high schoolers’ access to technical job training programs, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis announced a plan to create a Career-Technical Coordinating Board. The plan is the latest in a string of education reform proposals from Davis. It also includes recommendations on college affordability and […]

Yes, Greg Abbott owns the RPT platform

Sorry, Greg. You can mumble all the vague platitudes you want, but this baby’s all yours. In the wake of the GOP’s approval of a platform that includes a hardline stance on immigration, Attorney General Greg Abbott finds himself at the top of the ticket for a party whose members are deeply divided over the […]

Transportation funding shouldn’t be intractable

As previously noted, Sens. Tommy Williams and Robert Nichols want to take another crack at finding additional funds for transportation. The problem, as always, is political

Senate passes amended HB5

The Senate has passed its version of House Bill 5, which makes sweeping changes to standardized testing and curriculum requirements for high school students. Texas high school students would have new curriculum requirements under legislation unanimously passed by the Senate on Monday — but they won’t be the ones the House envisioned when it approved […]

Water, water, not so fast

So much for that. A major bill on the top of Gov. Rick Perry’s priority list that would authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the Texas House on Monday night after a contentious debate over where to pull the money from. “My understanding is it’s doorknob dead,” the bill’s sponsor, […]

Weekend legislative threefer

That sound you heard on Friday was Rick Perry stamping his feet if he doesn’t get his way. Gov. Rick Perry is warning state legislators that it could be a long, hot summer in Austin if they don’t pass his top priorities: funding water and transportation projects and cutting business taxes. With a month left […]

Senate to consider expanded gambling

I didn’t really take it seriously when I heard that Sen. John Carona had filed his own gambling expansion legislation, but it seems it’s got some traction. A proposal from Dallas Republican Sen. John Carona would establish a commission that licenses 21 casinos throughout the state, including three mega-resorts in Bexar, Dallas and Tarrant counties […]

Here come the tax cut proposals

When the sunny revenue forecast came in, we immediately got one crappy tax cut idea, to eliminate the margins tax at a cost of $4.5 billion. The Texas Association of Business didn’t care for the idea, at least at first, but are now warming up to it, because this is what they do. For Bill […]

TAB yields on testing

Retreat! Some of the strongest advocates for high-stakes testing, Texas business leaders now want to cut the number of exams students must pass to finish high school, the latest attempt to ease tougher graduation requirements that went into effect last year. The number of high-stakes tests would fall from 15 to as few as six […]

Some sanity on STAAR

This is a welcome development. A requirement that the state exams count toward 15 percent of a student’s course grade sparked a backlash last spring over the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, among parents whose ninth-graders were the first to take the more rigorous exams. A statewide parent group emerged out […]

Fee for all

Fees are part of the answer for Texas’ pressing infrastructure needs, but they aren’t and cannot be the whole solution. To help keep the Texas business climate robust, lawmakers should double state fees on motor vehicle registrations and impose a new fee on every water meter in the state, the state’s largest business lobbying group […]

TAB does not intend to release its hostage

And why should they, if it’s a viable strategy? Representatives from the Texas Coalition for a Competitive Workforce, which includes major business groups and local chambers of commerce, said at a news conference that the assessment and accountability system known as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness cannot be rolled back. Too many […]

The Lege is going to have to spend some money

Whether they want to or not, there are a lot of issues that will be demanding attention and money from the Legislature when they convene in January. For example, there’s water. House Speaker Joe Straus said Friday the state’s water supply will be among his priorities after years of inaction by lawmakers. In the previous […]

Pauken responds to Hammond

Tom Pauken responds to Bill Hammond on the subject of school accountability. Hammond encourages us to “stay the course” of the existing high-stakes testing system and “4×4” curriculum that have come to dominate public education in Texas. Implicit in this expensive testing system (the cost to Texas taxpayers is an estimated $450 million over a […]

Hammond pushes back on Pauken

After I read Patti Hart’s column about Tom Pauken and his anti-standardized testing quest, I noted the absence of a mention of uber-testing advocate Bill Hammond. Hammond has no trouble talking about Pauken, however. Tom Pauken, former chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, said in The Texas Tribune that he wants to change the state’s […]

Pauken on testing

Patricia Kilday Hart has a conversation with Texas Workforce Commission Chair Tom Pauken about testing and accountability in public schools. As a Texas Workforce Commissioner, Pauken has spent a lot of time studying whether our public school system prepares an educated workforce. His conclusion? The focus on college-prep and testing has, well, “left behind” kids […]

A matter of priorities

Compare and contrast. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the outspoken voice of the far right in the Senate, said he will be pushing vouchers that parents of school-age children could use for charter schools, online offerings or additional alternatives to the public schools. “To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session,” […]

TAB takes a hostage

Can’t say I’m surprised by this tactic. Leaders in the business community said Wednesday that they would not stand for increased funding for education if it came with any rollback of accountability standards in Texas public schools. “If we are going to remain competitive in the world’s market, we are going to have to have […]

Are the end of course standards too low?

Beginning this year, high school students must pass new end of course exams in a variety of subjects in order to be able to graduate. These tests begin in the ninth grade and continue through the 12th. The standards will be relaxed for the first couple of years while everyone gets used to them. Some […]

TAB joins school finance litigation

But not as a force for good. The Texas Association of Business announced today that it will join a school finance lawsuit against the state, demanding a study of Texas school system efficiency. “The Constitution of Texas calls for the state to provide an efficient public school system, and in our view, clearly the school […]

The SBOE can even make math controversial

The State Board of Education is gearing up to revise math standards, and as is always the case someone is pushing back. The Texas Association of Business is urging the state board of education to go back to the drawing board on the standards, which the 15-member state panel is expected to take up next […]

All the “news” that fits, we print

I’ve heard of slow news days before, but this is ridiculous. State Comptroller Susan Combs trumpeted a survey Tuesday showing – as she wrote in the forward to a 15-page report – that a mere 3.4 percent of employers surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act will be good for their business. Nearly two-thirds said federal […]

House approves a little more money, Senate readies its budget

Just a little. Texas House budget-writers voted Monday to free up an additional $3 billion for key state services through such moves as speeding up tax collections, delaying payments and suspending the back-to-school sales tax holiday. The bills next go to the full House, which Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, predicted could be willing […]

Bill Hammond gets his name in the papers again

Whether he actually achieves any of the goals that are the basis for many of these stories remains to be seen. Hammond, a former business owner and Republican lawmaker from Dallas, is accustomed to steering the state business organization between its support for Perry and his fervent belief that now is not the time to […]

Thousands attend the Save Texas Schools rally

Our voices have been heard. Whether we are listened to remains to be seen. Parents, educators, and students from across the state marched to the Capitol Saturday for the Save Texas Schools rally to express their concern over what could amount to a $10 billion reduction in state funding for schools. Initial estimates put attendance […]

Rally Day

Thanks in part to our only Governor, those attending today’s rally are even more fired up about it. As thousands of teachers, school staffers and parents prepare for a state Capitol rally Saturday against education cuts, they’ve found new recruits and fresh motivation from an unlikely source: Gov. Rick Perry. Reacting to Perry’s comments, some […]

The business lobby’s guide to balancing the budget

Bill Hammond, the president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business, pens an op-ed with his preferred approach to the budget. The main thing to note is right here: The state has $72.2 billion available for general-purpose spending during the 2012-13 biennium, leaving a $15 billion gap from the current general revenue spending of […]

Business leaders urged to oppose “cuts only” approach to the budget

Good luck with that. Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby is helping lead an effort to rally Texas business leaders against what he calls a “catastrophic” cuts-only approach to balancing the state’s budget in the face of a massive shortfall, estimated at $15 billion to $27 billion over the next two years. Hobby, a board member […]

Sheriffs not sold on Arizona immigration bill

Texas’ sheriffs are not very enthusiastic about being charged with enforcing federal immigration laws. Texas has 254 sheriffs, and while opinions vary about whether illegal immigration should be their problem, some Republicans are pushing measures that won’t give them a choice. More than a dozen bills targeting illegal immigration await the Legislature when it convenes […]

Will the Lege change the rules about corporate campaign contributions?

I think the answer to that question is probably “No”, but given the Citizens United ruling and the effect it had in the 2010 election, one cannot rule it out. Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Texas Ethics Commission, acting within state law, issued rules for individual corporations or unions to disclose their […]

The anti-immigrant hysteria has officially begun

Didn’t take long. State Rep. Debbie Riddle camped out and endured “creepy” noises inside the cold, empty Capitol to be first in line Monday morning to file legislation targeting illegal immigration and ballot security. The Tomball Republican said she remained outside the House chamber for two days because of the importance of getting priority bill […]

For those who are just tuning in to the whole Tom DeLay saga

The Statesman has a useful overview of How We Got Here in the DeLay money laundering case, which goes to trial today. I love the fact that it all began with a little hubris. It was November 2002, just days after Texas Republicans had won a historic election that gave them control of state government […]

No, they won’t “cross swords” over this

A few days back, I blogged about how immigration reform is supposedly going to be a wedge issue for the GOP because evangelicals and business types support it. I took issue with a statement by Bill Hammond, the president of the Texas Association of Business, who claimed that this is an issue on which they […]

The immigration wedge issue for the GOP

I have three things to say about this story. Evangelical ministers in Texas and across the nation are splitting off from the hard right, declaring immigration reform is needed that includes a path to citizenship without first deporting millions of illegal immigrants. That aligns evangelicals with conservative Republican businessmen who want reform because they want […]