“We believe that it is a teacher’s right and obligation to faithfully teach the standard curriculum to all students regardless of their culture or socio-economic status, and to not be constantly diverted into social issues that are more the concern of politicized adults. Therefore, below is our position on the following topics.”
#1. MASK MANDATES
#2. REVISING OF SOCIAL STUDIES
ITT believes history is to be learned, not altered or cancelled. History contains events both positive and negative, and the curriculum is to be taught factually and comprehensively so that students can learn for themselves from its many lessons. Furthermore, ITT does not believe in indoctrinating students with the belief that they are oppressors or victims, and therefore we support Texas House Bill 3979.
#3. PARENTAL RIGHTS TO ADDRESS SCHOOL BOARDS
ITT believes that since schools operate on the tax dollars parents provide, they have every right to attend and address school board meetings to respectfully voice opinions and grievances. Local law enforcement and the Executive Branch of government shall consider them for what they are - concerned citizens who are a positive force for educational improvement for our children, and not negative disrupters to be investigated or detained.
#4. TRANSGENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION ISSUES
ITT believes this is another adult-driven issue whose battleground should not be fought in schools, and all students should have equal access to a quality education regardless of the gender views of their households. ITT also believes that younger children are inherently innocent and unconcerned about these adult issues, and elementary-age students should not be indoctrinated by teacher-lead lessons or reading materials contrary to stable familial values that have existed throughout civilized human history.
#5. STATE TESTING (STAAR EXAM)
ITT believes there is much professional merit in giving students end-of-course exams to measure their academic progress. Such "teacher tests" are standard to education, as are nationally normed tests such as the ACT and SAT. However, the Texas STAAR test has grown to unwieldy proportions with too many opportunities for gamesmanship and manipulation - as well as so many exemptions and accommodations for special groups that the overall STARR results are spurious at best. Furthermore, the pressure on building administrators and the angst on students grows every year. This causes a great loss of literally weeks of invaluable instructional time trying to produce the necessary "high scores," and meanwhile, teachers have to abandon innovative and dynamic lessons in order to "teach to the test." And the price tag is millions upon millions of dollars spent ... money that is critically needed for teacher salary raises and classroom materials. If Texas school districts are truly "independent," there is no reason that the State Legislature and the Texas Education Agency can't mandate districts to handle their own end-of-year testing - for who knows their clientele best? - and have those results reasonable monitored by TEA.
ITT believes that throughout civilized history, the sovereignty of every country has been defined by its established borders. Native and naturalized citizens living within these borders are given the full benefits of voting rights, driver's licenses, and governmental assistance, while vetted visitors - though entitled to all due respect - have no right to expect these. Illegal immigration can be very disruptive on Texas (and American) education for students of all colors when undocumented children with academic, cultural, and medical issues crowd into classrooms. This often forces teachers to divert or "water down" their daily lessons, and spend their very limited time meant for those properly enrolled. Then as teachers still do their very best, these often transient students just suddenly move on. To protect both our borders and our classrooms may seem heartless to some, but it is how all other established countries operate. Therefore, ITT is Pro-American, Pro-Legal Immigration, and Pro-Legal Visa status. The reality is that teachers are very committed to teach all within their classrooms, yet it is not their responsibility - but that of the Federal and Texas Governments - to be sure both those classroom and border "walls" are legally secure.
#7. THE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON EDUCATION OF THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
ITT believes that going into the fall of the 2021-22 school year, many public school teachers began using the phrase, "But the kids lost a year," to describe both the present diminished academics and the less mature behavior due to the faux-school year of 2020-21. Scores on student testing seem to verify an even larger than normal gap exists from where student skills are compared to where they should be. Furthermore, certain students, especially those with uninspiring home lives, lost nine months of positive personal growth by being separated from the support and influence of the strong teachers they admire. ITT certainly believes that advances in remote teaching/virtual learning now provide educators with very useful options in special situations. However, it also reaffirms that students still need to be in classrooms where they belong so that innovative and master teachers can work face-to-face the "magic" they have done for centuries - and ITT salutes all those fought all year to keep that ideal in place. In short, all well-seasoned educators can remember riding out, with simple common sense health practices, waves of infectious viruses like SARS, H1N1, West Nile, Zika, and even the annual "flu season," as these microbes went through their brief normal cycles. But when the less lethal COVID-19 virus became highly politicized by some, and offered financial gain to others, students ... and teachers ... paid the price.