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Wendy Davis Attacks Greg Abbott’s Pre-K Education Plan

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – It’s an education plan being proposed for 4-year-olds and one candidate for Texas governor says it doesn’t pass the test.

While in Dallas Tuesday, Wendy Davis continued hammering away at an education plan offered by rival Greg Abbott. Davis said the pre-kindergarten education plan would overwhelm young kids.

The conversation centers on the concept of testing kids in pre-k classes. Standardized tests are one of the methods Abbott’s plan says could be used to figure out if a pre-k program is working.

Davis seized on the idea and said she wants kids to all have a chance at pre-k, and that they should be using crayons and coloring books and not, “filling in bubbles with No. 2 pencils.”

Davis told the Texas Retired Teachers Association at its annual convention that the classrooms they left wouldn’t be the same if her opponent becomes governor.

“That vision of the classroom, a place where the joy for learning, is replaced by teaching to the test. [This] is apparently how Greg Abbott sees our schools.”

Without exception, every parent who talked with CBS 11 News said they wouldn’t want their kids tested in pre-kindergarten.

Parent Bobbie Dodd said that what works for one four-year-old, “…is not going to work for the other. I have two totally different opposites.”

Dodd acknowledged though that when her kids were in pre-k there was a test of sorts. “They test throughout the year, so every six weeks or every few months or so they let us know how he’s doing.”

The North Texas mom said that “testing” wasn’t pen or pencil to paper – it was done by observing and watching. That option is also one of the methods Abbott’s plan offers. Abbott claims the state needs to know what works, and Texas is just one of four states that doesn’t require any assessment.

Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said, “Senator Davis will say anything at this point to avoid talking about her ethical problems and lining her pockets at the taxpayers’ expense, including mischaracterizing Greg Abbott’s education plan. Contrary to Sen. Davis’ plan that calls for billions in new spending while maintaining the status quo, Greg Abbott’s plan does not impose standardized testing, and it removes the mandates from Austin and gives genuine local control and flexibility to school districts to achieve the gold-standard for pre-k.”

Davis countered after her speech that student-teacher ratios and teacher training are strategies we already know helps students advance.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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