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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 8, 2017     Hays Free Press
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February 8, 2017

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CIVIC AWARD Buda honors Iongtime resident, community watchdog - Page 1C Hays Free Press February 8, 2017 Page 3B BY MOSES LEOS III A pair of high profile, education-related pieces of legislation is part of what local Hays County representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) has so far filed during the 85th Texas Legislative ses- sion. Isaac's key piece of leg- islation, House Bill 1333, aims to "radically reduce the impact of standard- ized testing on Texas' students, educators and taxpayers," according to a release. The bill, called the "Teaching over Testing" act, plans to move the focus in public education "away from standardized testing" to the classroom through four pieces of reform. That includes remov- ing the weight of scores from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam in the state's A-F rating system, which is to be implemented during the 2018 school year. Texas' STAAR test has come under fire after multiple school districts encountered a myriad of technical issues with the exam in spring 2016. THE FOUR PIECES OF REFORM WITHIN JASON ISAAC'S TESTING OVER TEACHING ACT Allowing school districts to select alternative test providers Reducing the number of tests Removing STAAR scores from teacher evaluations Reducing the weight of STAAR scores in A-F ratings In addition, over 150 school districts, including Hays CISD and Dripping Springs ISD, have passed resolutions calling for the repeal of the state's new A-F rating system, citing concerns the ratings rely heavily on standardized testing. Isaac said his bill has received bipartisan sup- port from across the state. His bill is co-authored by Reps. RodneyAnderson (R-Grand Prairie), Joe De- shotel (D-Beaumont) and GaryVanDeaver (R-New Boston). "I'm thrilled by the bi- partisan support this leg- islation is recei ng," Isaac said. "It's time we shift the focus of public education away from standardized testing and back to the classroom where it be- longs." Issac has also filed leg- islation to stop inappro- priate relationships be- tween teachers and stu- dents in public schools. House Bill 1403, which was filed by Isaac Mon- day, is paired with HB 218, which was filed by Rep. Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park). Both pieces of leg- islation are expected to strengthen prohibitions against relationships between educators and students. According to the re- lease, both Isaac and Dale have focused their atten- tion toward stopping a practice they call "passing the trash." That practice is where teachers who re- sign, but are not fired, for engaging in inappropriate relationships with stu- dents are allowed to keep their teaching license. "I'm thankflfl that our children's safety in schools - where all they should have to focus on is learning - is a priority for our state's leadership," Issac said. "I look forward to working with my col- leagues in the House and the Senate to keep sexual predators out of our schools." COURTESY PHOTO Pfluger Elementary first grader Clarissa Salinas shows a broad smile as her father, U.S. Army Cpl. Eric Salinas, lifts her up in the air during a surprise reunion Monday morning. Salinas got the birthday surprise of a lifetime after her father, who had been on a 400-day deployment overseas, surprised Clarissa at school. PHOTO BY ANGLE MENDEZ On Saturday, over 400 of the 500 coats available for distribution were given to those in need in the Hays CISD area. The coats, which were distributed during Hays CISD's Coats for Kids drive at Kyle Elementary, were donated from campuses throughout Hays CISD and Seton Hospitals located in Kyle and Austin. Angle Mendez of Hays CISD the said event could not have been accomplished without the assistance of the Kyle Rotary Club and Julio Campos, who helped with the cleaning of the coats. PHOTO BY BRUCE FISHER Members of the Lehman High Mariachi Los Lobos strike a pose following their performance at the Mariachi state competion in San Antonio Saturday. The Lobos competed at the Mariachi state finals last weekend and emerged with a 5th place finish out of 17 groups. ~: kY