On Wednesday's edition of Lubbock's First News, Nanette Sissney, president of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA), and Julia Swope, director of membership for the TCTA, talked with Chad Hasty and Rex Andrew about some of the big issues affecting Texas classrooms.

Sissney and Swope both agreed that standardized tests are one of the biggest challenges facing Texas teachers today. Swope said that teachers are increasingly frustrated because they have to tailor their curriculum to teach the tests as opposed to teachers teaching their own curriculum. Sissney, however, said that it's not so much the tests that are bad, but it is the emphasis of the tests that's the problem.

Sissney: It's the emphasis placed on the testing, it's everything that's tied to the testing that has such a negative connotation. Students do need to be tested, we do need to be able  to know where they are, and that is not a bad thing. But, we need to dial it back a notch or two at least, and not place the emphasis on it that we do.

Sissney said that another big issue facing the classroom is funding. She said that students have greater socioeconomic needs now that they did in previous years, but that there are not enough funds for teachers to really help those students. Swope also added that classroom management was another problem, especially with disruptive students that lack discipline outside the classroom.

For more information on the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, visit their website at tcta.org.