On Sunday, Frm. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor of Texas, met with public school educators, trustees and community leaders in the city of Laredo to shed some light on the more pressing issues public schools are facing.
“We are here to find out how we can do a better job of providing world class education to our children supporting those teachers and educators who make that possible,” said O’Rourke in a video he shared on social media.
The first issue O’Rourke tackles is the STAAR test, stating the pressure the test has on the kids, their families and the teachers is unnecessary and could be avoided by canceling the test altogether.
The former Representative has a precedent of opposing the STAAR test. In 2018, he suggested that at a federal level Texas should be taking the steps towards “empowering teachers to fulfill their calling by having autonomy to teach to their students and not to arbitrary, high-stakes tests.”
That autonomy is exactly what the educators are continuously fighting for, as seen in the video O’Rourke posted on social media under the caption: “It’s time to get rid of the STAAR test.”
‘We need this test to be gone so that we can actually care about the kids and teach them what they need to keep thriving. Instead, they took away all the lessons to focus on the test,” said the young teacher in the video.
The teacher explains how common it is for the kids to lack attention at home due to their parents’ economic situations. When that happens, teachers are usually their last line.
“When the parents are working three jobs sometimes, what chance do they have? You’re their last line of support to get them ready for life to show them what they can be and inspire them, see that fire in them and let it burn and instead we are just putting it out because we need to focus on this test,” the young teacher continued.
“We need our hands untied so that we can do the job that we learned to do.”
At the get-together O’Rourke and the educators also discussed the importance of wearing face masks at school for the protection of everyone who on a daily basis is exposing themselves for the greater good of Texas education.
At the end of the video O’Rourke asks Texas to listen to and work with the educators and teachers who could make having the best public schools in the U.S.A possible.
“Let’s make sure that they know that we have their back. And when we have the opportunity to change this and make this better, we elevate those teachers, listen to them, follow their lead and ensure that we work together to have the best public schools in the U.S.A.”